Thursday, March 10, 2011

And then it happened...

It had been a night just like most other nights. Puppy and I come home, check the fridge for something to eat. We eat supper, then do homework or watch a little T.V. and he heads off to take his shower before bedtime. But something different happened today.

Look in the fridge, check; sit down to eat together, check; make small conversation, check; clean up after supper, check, and so on.

After a few minutes, Puppy then comes up to me and says, "Mom, I'm behaving so good today?" I answered, "Of course you are." And then it happened -- My son leaned into me, put his arms around me, and held me tight for what was maybe three seconds! He stands back up and gives me a big grin.

There it son's FIRST HUG! Never before had I received a hug from my son. Even when he's coached for one, his arms don't come up to embrace, he just leans in and I do the hugging. I always hoped he would eventually just learn to mimic when the time was right. Oh, the praise that he received and the joy I expressed made him bring his hands up to his chest and his fingers moved up and down, back and forth against his thumbs, as if to remove dirt or crumbs from them. This is his way of showing excitement, similar to hand flapping.

Wow! I'm still so moved by it. Some might say they have seen him hug, but no...this was HIS hug. It wasn't coached, asked for, or initiated by me. It was all him.

I know, I'm babbling now, but no one can imagine how thrilled I am this evening. It gave me a natural high for at least an hour. But re-living the moment will be with me forever.

My son is 12 years old and is a high-functioning autistic. Emotions are difficult for him to understand. We have managed to teach him the basics like happy and sad, but the others, are not so easy. But he has come a long way. Today was proof of this.

After you read this, if you have a child...give him or them the biggest hug ever.