Life is filled with moments taken, moments given and moments shared. I will never forget the time a mother and her autistic child showed me the true meaning of love.
I first heard the sound when I turned the door handle to my exam room. “Thump, thump, thump.” It grew louder as I swung open the door and turned to the source of the sound a mother holding her preschool-aged son. His gaze and the sound did not change as I entered the room. He forcibly rocked back and forth in his mother’s arms striking the back of his head against his mother’s chest. As if a queen she sat with her chin slightly lifted to avoid being struck by her son. Her body swayed back and forth with the harsh blows of her son. She leaned close to him as if she was giving her heart to him. With her cheek touching his she whispered something into his ear. He suddenly relaxed and the room became silent.
“Are you alright?” I asked. “Yes,” she answered. “He does this when he is afraid.” “Is there anything I can do to help?” “No,” she answered. Speechless, I slid my stool forward and touched her arm. She smiled as stroked the cheek of her son. He closed his eyes and his body relaxed.
That day this mother showed me the meaning of acceptance, love and courage. She chose not to be controlled by her son’s special needs or his behavior. Love and affection allowed her to move beyond fear, anger, denial, sadness and frustration and communicate with her child with limitless trust, understanding and compassion.
The next time your child does something wrong, stop and think about this mother. Hear the thumping sound and find a way to feel her patience and understanding. Share your love and accept your child no matter what was said or done. Let love fill your heart and connect you to your child. Listen to your child. Touch your child. Feel your child. Allow this language of love to lead you to the best path to take.