Monday, November 18, 2013

This is Autism; This is Family.

Written by Alexandra Holt

Originally published at Suburban Mamma

I feel the warmth of the morning air and listen to the magpies chortling in the Eucalypt outside. I open my eyes and breathe a sigh of gratitude. I look around me, at the sleepy limbs in the room. I have four beautiful, healthy children and I love them with every part of me that can love.

My children wake and crawl to me for cuddles. I stroke their bed hair and kiss their sweet faces. 

When they have had their fill of my adoration, they get up and bounce around. They laugh. They scream with delight. They flap their hands in excitement. They cuddle one another and plant sloppy kisses on each other’s faces.

This is autism.

My daughter is five years old. Full of spirit, she always speaks her mind.

My son is four years old. Full of grins and love, he is loyal and focused.

My other son is three years old. Full of mischief, his dimples light up a room.

My baby is two years old. Full of wonder, his tiny voice makes our hearts swell.

This is autism.

I am a young mother. Full of ideas, raw love, and hope for my family.

My lover and soul mate is strong, supportive, beautiful, and dedicated.

We are autistic and we make one hell of a couple.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

This is autism.

Cuddles. Paints slopping onto paper. Hand prints on the walls. Furniture used and dirtied and replaced. Favourite bowls that change with age. Spaghetti sauce on chins and soup slurping from spoons. Mozzies biting in the dusk. Starts up in the sky, billions of kilometres away. Watermelon chomped, dripping, sweet.

Trying times. Testing times. Times to show my children what I’m made of. Times to not repeat the mistakes of my ancestors. Times to progress as a parent, to be respectful. Times to love, to comfort, to snuggle, to kiss, to take up in my arms, to sing lullabies, and to pat a back until I feel the still of sleep. 

Times of stress. Times of emotional highs and emotional lows. Times that we are born to live through, and that we are born to grow from.

Tiny towels. Bubble bath. Green grass. Dandelions floating through the air. White clouds drifting, morphing, changing. A blue sky. A dark sky. A pink sky. A red sky. A yellow sky. A starry sky.

Birthday cakes. Allergies. Dinners in the bin. Milk bubbles. Baking. Chef hats. Cookie cutters. Cookie dough. Licking the beaters. Aprons. Chocolate faces and blueberry tongues and frozen-yoghurt chins.

Spot. Maisy. Peepo. The Jolly Pocket Postman. Play School. Peppa Pig. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Thomas and Friends. Winnie the Pooh. Mickey Mouse. Sulley and Mike. Lightning McQueen.

Dress ups. Huge hats. Lost keys. Nail polish. High heels. Dresses too long. Lion masks. Fairy wings. Jump Jump Star.

Snails on the foot path. Baby birds learning to fly. Magpies swooping in the Spring. Ladybirds on flowers. Butterflies fluttering by. Pelicans at the river.

Sand at the beach. Pine needles in the forest. A picnic by the stream.

Space. Trains. Ballet. Cars. Reptiles. Dinosaurs. Mathematics. Buses. Bin truck.

Love. Sweat. Tears. Worry. Love. Growing up. Anticipation. Learning. Love. Growing. Change.


This is autism.

This is all autism.

You see, autism is within us. It is a part of us. It is in our souls. It is with us in every beat of our heart, in every smile passing our lips, in every word that we speak.

If autism is a tragedy then where has this joy come from?

If autism is a burden, then thank you fate for giving me such a precious burden.

We are autistic, and it is such an integral part of us that we cannot separate ourselves from it. It is a part of our selves. It is inexplicitly linked to our personhood and to our lives.

We are autism. Autism is us.

This is autism.

This is autism.


You know what?

This is family.

F*ck you, Autism Speaks.