Dear my Sam,
Hello my darling, today has been quite a momentous day for you, well us too. Today you climbed on to your Mickey ride-along car and actually rode it down the hall. You have had that little car since your 2nd birthday, when Nanny and Grandad excitedly gave it to you. And today at the grand old age of 3 and 1 month you actually rode it.
The moment you lifted your leg and sat your little bum down on the seat my breath caught in my chest, I stood waiting to see whether you would just climb back off or just sit still. You then put your hands on the mini steering wheel and you started to move your legs, both together and began riding yourself down the hall. My throat grew tight, the lump rose higher, as my eyes responded with tears. I have heard the saying your heart bursts with love for your children, but my sweet son with you it bursts everyday. My heart swells so much with pride, it feels as if it will literally burst through my chest.
You see to many other parents I am sure they feel this pride as their children ride on their toys, jump on the trampoline, say their first words even. But for you all of these things are a little harder. This week Mummy and Daddy took you see the developmental pediatrician, an appointment we have been waiting for, for months. She spent some time with you, I hope you don’t remember that at one point she pretended to cry and you looked at her, your bottom lip went and your little face crumpled into sobs. you ran to me and looked over at her saying, “happy, happy” willing her to smile again. My sweet sensitive soul, I hate that it upset you. She did assessments with you, Mummy and Daddy looked on as our clever boy impressed her, at one point she asked if you knew any letters. Daddy and I looked at each other and tried to hide a smirk, all of them I said. Hey, I’m one proud Mama, if I could of, I would have stood on that table and shouted it for all to hear.
She asked you questions, she played with you, she watched you. We watched you. There were times when your responses ticked all her mental boxes and there were other times when I could tell what she was thinking.
By the end of the appointment, she spoke to us and confirmed feelings I have had since you were my toddling 18 month old. She told us that you were displaying traits of Autism, that you were also incredibly smart, that you had high functioning autism.
I have always known that you were special, that you see the world a little differently. When it was just you and me in that small flat in Hong Kong, nineteen floors up. The times when I felt so alone and so scared for my little boy, was I doing enough for you, was I loving you enough. I have held you everyday of your life my darling, you have my whole heart and every struggle or difficulty you face, I face too.
You amaze us everyday, do you know that? You work harder than any 3 year old I know. At the moment you are having speech therapy, which is going really well. I am also working with you as always on occupational therapy, especially as you find it hard to transition from one thing to the next. It’s ok my darling, I know its scary sometimes, you don’t always know whats coming next and that makes you anxious. I will always tell you whats coming, don’t you worry.
When we talk together and I ask you, are you hungry? and you repeat it back to me, or you pull me close and say “What’s that amazing smell?’’ and we both say together “mmmm. Chocolate!” Just like Anna and Elsa do. I am learning so much from every way that you communicate with me. Our hearts are tied and I will always find a way to understand what you need. And when everything is too much and you get overwhelmed, I will hold you or just stay and wait for you to come back to me.
I know sometimes you know exactly what you want to say, but it takes a little longer for you to process. I have all the time in the world baby, I’ll wait. You listen to me and I can see that look come across your face when you are concentrating and trying to say the right thing, the thing you think I’m waiting to hear. Always know that anything you say is what I want to hear. And when you say “Mummy, Mummy” when you need me, it is the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. There was a time when I didn’t know If I would ever hear you call me. I would have been ok with that too. I love you.
By Jade-Marie Sinclair-Harris