We’ve been on this road for 6 years now. It is no longer that dark, scary trail, with unpleasant surprises at every turn. No, the road is much easier now, with beautiful vistas and stunning foliage. Most days, we don’t even notice the uphill climb or how we still keep stumbling on those random, gnarly roots. We just dust off our hands and keep walking. Maybe because we’ve got you as our Trail Guide. You tell us when we can take a break, and when we need to get up and move already. Most times you use words (long, beautiful, articulate sentences). Sometimes when you’re particularly upset, you emote with sounds and tears. We still understand you perfectly and accept you as you are. Because you’re exactly who you’re supposed to be.

Some days, you want to keep walking, keep exploring, running ahead and marveling at every funny shaped rock you see. We try hard to keep up, our faces red with sweet exertion. These are wonderful days, laced with laughter and silliness. There’s no stopping you and your appetite for life. You learn so much, easily jumping from one success to another, collecting skills and smarts like points in a video game.

And then, out of nowhere dawns the other kind of day. You dawdle. You look unhappy. You drag your feet because it just doesn’t seem like a good time to hike. We coax you and tickle you, but you need a break. From us and our dreams, and from everything you carry on your young shoulders. Ironically you’re stronger right now, fighting so many invisible battles just to keep standing.

So we carry you, the best we can. Because we want you to be snug in our love and breathe in that fresh air of life around you. But sometimes, when the wind around you is too strong, we set up camp, and bring out the ice cream. We give you a quiet corner and learn the power of silence and acceptance. We wait for you to tell us you’re ready. We don’t ever leave you behind, not even for a step because we would be so lost without our guide.

After a good while, you get up, rested and stronger. A few iffy steps — look, you’re skipping and giggling now. So we pick up our stuff and follow you, hearts full and lighter at the same time. And as you look back at us and beam, your cape flies high and proud behind you.

Happy Autism awareness day my baby boy! We’re beyond blessed that you chose us!

Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

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