Like This

by Tim on November 22, 2010

Another discovery from my writing file.

When they ask, “How do you keep up with everything?”
show them pictures of him smiling with his therapists and teachers,
show them everything he could not do three months ago, and say,
“Like this.”

When they ask, “How does all this sensory stuff work?”
take their hands and stroke a purring kitten,
wrap them in an embrace, dance with a symphony,
bring them out into the sun and let it warm their faces, and say,
“Like this.”

When they ask, “How does your son being different affect your life?”
draw them a picture of a large dairy farm with endless herds
and one remarkable, dancing, purple, polka-dotted cow
whom everyone marvels and smiles at, and say,
“Like this.”

When they ask, “How do you make sense of his need for order?”
point to the heavens and the procession of constellations
and the orbiting planets and the traveling moon, and say,
“Like this.”

When they ask, “How can repeating the same thing over and over help him?”
show them the waves as they roll on to the shore,
recede back to the great ocean, and then return once more;
show them the rain falling to nourish the fields, and the water rising back up to the sky, and say,
“Like this.”

When they ask, “How does he communicate with pictures?”
show them the trees and the sky and the lilies of the field,
bring out photos of the Pieta, distant galaxies, and the helices of DNA, and say,
“Like this.”

When they ask, “How does it feel to speak to someone all day every day and have him never really talk back?”
Face the open air, kneel, and pray, and say,
“Like this.”

When they ask, “How will you deal with the future?”
show them the depth of his great blue eyes,
hum his favorite song and let them see his head fall to your shoulder,
and kiss him gently on his cheek, and say,
“Like this.”

And when they ask, “How do you parent a child with autism?”
Stand with your arms open, your chest out, and your head high, and say,
“Like this.”

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