We are Groot
My sons autism has not been a nightmare. I frankly hate it some days, I hate the meltdowns, I get just as frustrated with the difficulty to communicate with my amazing son as he does. I want to take all that away and would in a heart beat.
HOWEVER, I realize that his autism gives us things too.
Like his ability to see the world in a different way, in a way often like that of a small child. Even at 12, he still giggles at Tom and Jerry cartoons. He still lights up at bed time when we do stories, and I bounce him in bed*.
He learned to read before I even knew he was ready, he did basic math the same way. He can build amazing, maps, and roads, and towns with such detail you would think he had been through years of school to understand it all.
His way of looking at the world is simply delightful, they way he sees things and the details he notices that most people wouldn’t are unbelievable.
Like Groot and is 3 world vocabulary, Zach has proven that he can use few words and mean so many things. While his vocabulary is finally advancing he still is a little man of few words. If he can get what he wants without saying much he will**.
Also like Groot he loves with all of his heart. When he loves you, you have no doubt, the way he lights up when you are near, the smile and greetings you get leave no room for doubt, even if he then promptly refuses to acknowledge your existence to complete what he was doing before you came in.
His autism is part of what ties our family together, each of us shares in making sure Zach is okay at all times, to make sure he has what he needs and even in pushing him to advance verbally and socially. We try and make sure he never feels left out even when we are doing things he doesn’t enjoy.
The more I though about Groot, the more I realized. He was so much more than just his 3 word vocabulary. He was kind, and loving and he brought people together. I guess all the guardians did. Somehow I connected with Groot just a little more than the others. Somehow I found my son in him.
It is interesting how often I see parts of him in characters that are a little different than the world. I am never sure if it is because he is just a little different himself or it it is something more. If we don’t all have a little autism in us and only when we are not afraid to be a little different does it show. Maybe I see my son as less different because of this. I see someone who is strong, brave and unlike most of us willing to be him no matter how odd the world sees him.
He is more than autism, he is Groot, strong, brave and unwilling to change to fit the world. He makes our family stronger, gives us an amazing view of life we might never have seen if it were not for him.
He makes us all stronger, together We are Groot, we are family.
So next time someone asks me why I say I am an autism mom, that is because explaining the We are Groot thing… just takes too long.
Happy Minion Monday! Go take on the week!
*The bounce thing started as a positive way to end even the crappy days, he would get 3 bounces (he lays on his tummy under the blankets and with the pillow over his head, and I bounce the bed and count to 3.) It always makes him smile even if we have had 8 million meltdowns that day.
** Don’t worry Julie (speech teacher) he is still pushed for more, he would just rather talk less, hehe.