L is for Love
I know a lot of parents worry that an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis might mean their child will never know love. All those challenges our children experience seem to thwart love and romance. The communication challenges, both spoken and non-verbal. The sensory challenge of being caressed. Gazing adoringly into a loved one’s eyes. They are barriers, for sure.
But I know my kid, and I know how she likes to hurdle her barriers, in her own way, at her own pace.
And I know love. Love likes nothing more than overcoming the seemingly insurmountable. Just ask the quirky English woman who met the odd American mere weeks before he left the country. We had our problems of distance and communication challenges. Rather than breaking us, it helped us to learn a different way of communicating, of being open and honest and prioritizing each other no matter how far apart we had to be. Whatever directed us together, be it fate or pheromones, Love knew we’d find those lessons useful.
I don’t doubt Pudding loves me. I know it though I’ve only had one spontaneous kiss on my cheek in five years. I know it though she has voiced those words only a handful of times. I know it when she makes me a Valentine’s Day Card, but I’m not allowed to touch it. I know it when she’d can’t stand to be touched, and when being held isn’t close enough for her. I feel her love. I know her love. Just like I knew the moment I saw her that no distance could ever break that bond.
When she was diagnosed, I learned that there would be challenges, but love won’t be an obstacle for her. It will find her, if she wants it to. All it will take is for somebody to see the magic of my girl, and if they are the luckiest human on the planet, she’ll see the magic in them too. Love won’t weaken in the face of those challenges, it will teach her lessons she can’t learn any other way. Just like it did for her parents. I’m sure of it.
You know how I’m so sure?
When she showed me the Valentine’s Card that I may not touch, we were at her school, and her crush walked by. I mentioned that she could have made a card for him. Before Pudding even responded, Jimmy* spun around and agreed with me!
Somebody already sees the magic in Pudding, though he is going to have to wait a couple of decades to get past her daddy. She’ll have plenty to learn about love during that time. Like whether the barrier is Asperger’s or the Atlantic, she can overcome anything that comes her way, and Love will be with her always.
This is the long overdue L installment of my A-Z series. If you think I’m a little hypocritical for writing a love post on Valentine’s Day, just remember that my only constancy is how fickle I am, but I really do love you every day of the year!