Friday, October 14, 2011

The Man Shining Inside

Tell me people, can you see the man shining inside? Can you see him there in the mists?

My son is an amazing boy. He has an amazing love of life. He wants to live every moment even when that means not going to bed. He has a heart full of love. Love for his Mommy. Love for his Daddy. Love for his Best Friend (his own words), his Sister. He tries to understand things and has no doubts about what he wants. He is excited by the possibilities of tomorrow even though he hates to wait. He is one of the happiest people I know. His frustrations can be strong when he can't understand why things don't work the way he expects but he is always willing to try again. My little man is growing up and making me so very proud. He doesn't always dance to the tune that others would have him dance to but that doesn't mean he can't. He just doesn't understand why he should need to sometimes.

I worry for him. I worry what the future holds for him and how he will cope. I hope he understands that I try the best I can to be a good father to him. I try to be loving and set a good example for him. I hope that his failings are his own and that I do not pass any on to him. I know he will have challenges but I hope that he can stay surrounded with people who love him and can support him. I hope that I can give him the support he needs to be ready when the time comes to face the world.

Some may look at him and then at me and wonder why I let him behave like that. They may ask themselves "what is his problem?" They may say to themselves "I would never let my child throw a fit like that." They may see the pained look on my face and take it that I don't love my child. They might even think I am angry with him at times. Do they know? Can they even understand why my son behaves the way he does? Can any of them see the man shining inside?

I wanted to be part of my son's life and for a while I couldn't understand how to do that. I have had to learn to accept the world that he presents me and integrate myself into that world. I have tried to be a steadying influence in his life. I have tried to let him feel my love. I want him to know that he can count on me and know that I will always love him and support him. I want him to feel comfortable around me and know that everything is ok when he is with me.

My son is autistic. I love him and everything about him. Some days I might wish I could go play catch with my son but then I get to play in the amazing worlds he creates to play in. I will always cherish him and be there for him. I know some days I don't make him super happy but then being a parent means saying it's bed time or no more candy. I think he knows that I love him despite these little disappointments that I give. I love that I get to help him find ways to deal with the world around him. I get to help him find his peace and safety. My son is one of the greatest gifts God has given me.

If you ask me what is wrong with my son, I will tell you nothing is wrong. Sometimes he just had a tough time understanding the same things that you or I do at the same speed. He can understand them, sometimes he just needs a little extra time. Is anything wrong with him? Nothing more than is wrong with you or I. My son just hasn't learned to hide what he feels from the world and that is difficult for many folks to deal with. Is it his problem? No way, it's theirs. I have learned to deal with my son and love him just the way he is.

I can see the man shining inside of him. He peeks out now and then and lets me know that everything will be alright. He is an amazing man and I know I will see more of him as my son grows. I look forward to the day that he doesn't hide from the world anymore.

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