Love and Empathy round 3

I cannot get enough of my son.  My Jake.  My autistic son.  The one who drives me to insanity and who never stops talking and who asks me to do the most ridiculous things.

He is so beautiful.

He loves so much.

He is bursting with love.  He is overflowing with it.  He can hardly sleep because he just wants to be near me.  He just wants to kiss me one more time.  He just has one more “I love you” and one more question about Star Wars to ask me.

He follows me around the house.  Sometimes holding onto me.  Sometimes he brings his whole world where I am.  This afternoon I had to fold laundry so he brought everything into my bedroom.  Everything being a dinosaur, a long piece of brown craft paper crumpled, two large cardboard boxes, my woven baby wearing wrap, some Lego figures, and a lightsaber.  This was all needed to show me how he would film a trailer for his movie.  He’s a director these days.

A Lego Star Wars battle.

It makes me love him even more.

I want to actually follow through on my promise to have a sleepover in his room over Christmas holidays.  I have been putting it off for so long, and I know it would mean so much to him.  I will not get much sleep, but I hardly get much sleep anyways, what difference will it make to me?  It will make all the difference in the world to him.

I am completely over the empathy question (see Empathy round 1 and Empathy round 2).  This boy, he loves and feels so deeply.  It challenges me to love deeper and more.  I am learning how to show love and say “I love you,” and I truly thought I was an expert at that.  I don’t know how long it will last; surely little boys grow up and stop wanting their moms to snuggle with them, but it is so, so special.

I have read many blogs by moms who write about how their autistic children have shown love, true, deep love, and it comes out hard to understand.  I don’t know if or how I can avoid that.  How can I explain that when Jake loves, it is consuming?

I am learning so much about how to love my God, how to love my husband and my other children, from this one boy.

So about empathy.  We have adopted a kitten.  She is adapting extremely well to our noisy, busy household.  And the kids love her.  Just love her.  Penny squeals at her, pulls on her fur and her ears, and is trying to learn how to be gentle.  Aiden lifts her up, lugs her around, swings her, bounces her, hounds her and tortures her, all in the name of love.

But Jake.  Jake whispers to her.  He searches for her and gets right down to pet her.  He giggles gleefully and uncontrollably when she touches him.  He will not pick her up.  He will not push her, pull her, poke her, or bother her.  He leaves doors open for her and never forgets to feed her and give her fresh water.  He lies perfectly still when she jumps on his bed so that she won’t startle and leave.

That is empathy.

That is Jake, understanding how a kitten might feel.

That is Jake, realizing how painful and scary it can be to feel trapped, restrained, and touched.  I have not one time had to tell him to be gentle with the cat.  He is cautious and caring.  He shows his love in ways that amaze me and seem beyond his years.

I try to tell him how much he means to me.  And then I worry that I am telling Jake this more than I am telling Aiden or Penny.  I try to show him how much I love him, and it never seems like enough.  It really isn’t, as he follows me, telling me that he just needs more love.  But I worry that I have not shown enough to Aiden or Penny or my husband either.

I want to give more, and I am swinging on a pendulum of feeling like I just adore him, and life, and all these incredible children and moments so much!  And then I switch to feeling like they need more than I have to give and I am wholly inadequate and can never give them enough.  Thankfully this is love we are talking about, and there are always ways to give and share love.

I am trying to love Jake like he loves our kitten.  To see what he feels and love it.  To be there for him, to be there for all my kids, and not be frustrated at them.  Right now the pendulum is all the way over in the incredible love zone, and I can’t wait until the holidays when they are all home all the time.  I just can’t get enough of him.



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