In April there were sunny, warm, and waking up kind of blue skies days. It seems like all winter the sky was so sleepy and lifeless and then it lit up blue just in time for April.
I admit all April I wasn’t so lit up. There was a battle in me between what I was supposed to do- spread awareness by wearing my blue shirt or dying my hair blue, or posting articles about its reality, and do what I wanted to do- just ignore it and live in the fantasy of normalcy.
Then something blue arrived home in Goldi’s brother’s school folder.
“We are Lighting it up blue” the note said.
We will be talking , sharing, and reading about autism this month.
Wear your blue on Thursday. ”
A wave of excitement spread over me.
“You should write something!” I said to my son.
“You could write about what it is like to have a sister with autism. ”
Goldi’s brother immediately scrunched up his eyebrows and said “No way! That would be WAY to embarrassing!”
Here was my chance to be the best “Light it up blue” parent. The chance to give my Patrick Henry speech, my Patriotic Glory Glory Hallelujah music playing in the background to impress on him that we can make a difference!
“You are an amazing brother of someone who is autistic. You should share what it is like and how you feel and people will know…”
“Know what? my son interjects “That my sister is weird? That she says things that makes no sense sometimes. That she hits me for no reason? That is not something to write about!”
“Please,” I begged. “It would be so great. I would be so proud. and besides everyone will think you are pretty cool. ”
“No they won’t” he screams with tears flowing down. “Please, do I really have to do this?”
The Patriotic music stopped. I sighed and cried myself. My own son did not want to admit that his sister had autism. He wasn’t at all ready to join in the mission to spread awareness.
“Maybe now isn’t the time.” interjects my husband.
“Son, ” I whispered solemnly, “Write whatever you want.”
He took out his weekly school journal. The one he has to read every week in front of the whole class. I watched him write probably about some basketball game or some play date, and shrugged my shoulders.
I made intentional escape from this piercing reality of disappointment by joining Goldi in watching a cartoon on Youtube.
His closed journal caught my eye, laying there on the island counter. My son was nowhere in sight. I thumbed through the pages to find his new fresh entry. This contained the pages of the history of his life told through his eyes. Here the pages revealed all that was important to this seven year old boy. I found the ink written page still clean and crisp.
Fun Things with Sister
My sister and I like to go to Sky Zone.
My sister and I liked the movie Finding Dory.
My sister and I like to go swimming.
My sister and I like to race our scooters.
My sister and I like to play Uno.
My sister was born with autism.
“Well, are you proud of me? ” my son asks catching me in the act.
I hesitated and pondered the simplicity of his message and yet it’s depth. Scooters, and swimming, and Uno, and jumping, and movies, and………a sister named Goldi. Fun before autism. Fun with Goldi despite autism. Life as it is to this young seven year old.
“I’d say you are a real Patrick Henry!” I said drawing him close.
2 Timothy 1:7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.