Monday, 5 May 2014
I'm not a great traveller, not really. However, this journey called autism, it's a bit different isn't it?
We have been almost 3 years on the journey now. Wow, nearly 3 years. My son is only 4, almost 5.
We are only a tiny bit into it, compared to how long we still have to go. Yet, I consider myself a pretty seasoned traveller now.
Oh, don't get me wrong, the road isn't always smooth, sometimes, there is a pothole that you twist your ankle in, or a sharp corner you didn't see coming. And those curveballs that keep getting thrown at your head from out of left field?? What is that all about?? But we deal with everything as it happens, and we move on, further down the road, with a little more experience.
It wasn't always that way. At the start of the journey, I didn't want to go. I was dragged, kicking and screaming. But my son was going and I was damn sure he wasn't going on his own. He needed me there with him, every step, to teach him, to keep him safe, to help him. Thing is, it turns out that half the time, it's him teaching and helping me. How cool is that?
At the beginning, I had no clue where we were going. We needed some help to get our bearings. People who maybe hadn't been on the journey personally, but knew a bit about it helped us, taught us the best ways to move forward and to help my boy navigate his way through. Then I met a whole load of people who lived in my computer, people who were on the same journey as us. People who were much more experienced travellers than us. People who wanted to help those just starting out, to pass on their tips and 'places to visit.'
That was one of the defining moments. Hearing from those people that the journey can get better. Often because we got more used to travelling and doing what needed to be done to make the journey as smooth as we could. It still got really hard sometimes, I was told, but you are not alone, because there are so many others travelling with you. Some far ahead, some you will catch up to and some just starting out. Others hadn't started yet and didn't even know about it, but they would soon be on the road with us too.
Sometimes, the journey is fun. Sometimes we have to walk oh so slowly, sometimes we even have to retrace our steps. But sometimes, just sometimes, we get to walk quickly and even run! Those are great times.
We laugh a lot, we cry on occasion, and we get real tired and frustrated sometimes. But we never stop. Stopping is one thing that is not an option. We keep going, no matter how small the steps, we always keep going.
But you know the best thing about this journey? My travelling companion. He is so good looking. He is funny, smart, loving and has these huge blue eyes with eyelashes that go on forever! Whenever I get lost, he shows me the way I need to go. I love him, with every fibre of my being. I love him, I love travelling with him. Sure, sometimes I wish he would sleep more but what can you do??
Our autism journey. Full of surprises. Full of love. Full of hope.