Life with autism is wild but within the wild there is always calm. The wild and the calm balance each other out.
L is my incredible, uncontrollable ball of never ending energy. He constantly buzzes around superhero headquarters, jumping on, over and climbing under furniture. He fills our lives with constant laughter, noise, lots of WTF moments and the occasional trip to the Accident and Emergency Department of our local Children's hospital.
His world, and our world, really is where the wild things are. We don't need to read the book, we live it. Every. Single. Day.
L is very much a Mama's boy. My boy. L is my wild hearted child.
But the truth is that sometimes the wild in L's heart makes me emotionally, mentally and physically tired. Completely and utterly exhausted.
There are the days, weeks even, where it feels as though L and I are constantly clashing. That nothing that I say or do is right. Life, at times, feels as though we are playing a constant game of tug of war. I set boundaries for L and he is constantly testing them and then jumping clear over the boundaries.
L is a child that likes, nay loves, and needs to be in control. He always has been. And at times I feel as though he has joined the Rebellion. L tests my patience on a daily basis.
My patience is the frayed rope that is desperately trying to reign him in and he's on a swing on the other end, going higher and faster. I do worry about what may happen if my last bit of patience is ever used up. Will the rope break? What will happen to L? Where will he end up?
But then I look at photos of my little superhero and I no longer worry. I have lots of photos of him, mostly taken using my phone when he isn't aware - he isn't a huge fan of the camera! I am always drawn back to photos of a spur of the moment visit to the beach.
The last time we took the little superheroes to the beach, they were both having a fabulous time frolicking in the waves without a care in the world. In the photos that I took that day, I can see his, and O's, fiery little souls captured and beginning to calm as they played.
Watching them play in the waves was an epiphany to me about our life with autism and two wild hearted children!
To me, ocean waves are both beautiful and wild. Ocean waves dance and crash and roar onto a beach and from a distance it seems like absolute chaos. I have always felt a connection to the ocean and have found peace in sitting and watching the waves play with the shore. I feel calm and at ease when I can sit and watch waves play.
But behind the chaos of the waves, there is calm. If you think about it, behind the waves there is a quiet force at work. A gentle giant that is constantly pulling, fighting and guiding the ocean to attempt to create order and calm amongst the waves.
The moon and ocean - both at odds with each other but also both working together.
Myself and L - constantly at odds with each other, but also working together to navigate through the minefield of life with autism.
My epiphany was that my role is not to be at odds with L (and O,) my role is to simply be there. To be there to try to guide them on this roller coaster ride.
I am the calm and consistent. L is the wild. I am not there to calm L's wild, I am there to quietly pull him back into order, to keep him on track.
Life needs wild. There is a place for calm as there is a place for the wild in this world.
I now let L be wild. And while he is being wild, I simply sit back and appreciate the incredible beauty and sheer hearted stubbornness that exists, and will always exist, within the heart of my wild child.
L is the wild, I am the calm.