They are all small things, ordinary little moments that would not impress kings or emperors. They wouldn’t make the front page of the news, they would not win a Nobel prize or MacArthur award.
They are not really even related to autism, though their value is neither increased or decreased through an autism lens.
They are golden moments which are precious only to me – memories of things that will stay with me forever.
They are things like rocking him as a baby. I loved rocking him and holding him. I would have been happy sitting for hours with him if I could – even now I love rocking him, though he is all knobby knees and elbows.
I still rock him when he has nightmares or when he is feeling sad and frustrated. I will rock him until he doesn’t want to rock anymore.
Once after rocking and singing to him as a baby, when the song ended he lifted his head off my shoulder as if he was saying “Sing more, Mom.” I started singing again, and he laid his head back down. I will never forget that.
The first time we turned on the Polar Express movie, he was an opinionated toddler, running around completely disinterested in what we were doing.
When the movie started he froze, slowly turning and facing the screen. He carefully backed up until he was able to climb up into my lap, never taking his eyes off the tv. He sat not moving in my lap until the credits at the end. It is a wonderful memory for me.
I love how we have similar tastes in entertainment and he will watch my favorite movies and tv shows with me.
I love sitting on the couch watching Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. We make inside jokes with each other and pepper our conversations with quotes from our favorite shows, eyes laughing.
Sometimes we each turn difficult situations into easier ones by quoting a favorite line, or recalling a relevant scene, those shared moments allowing for a needed connection, an easing of tension, or an anchor to face something challenging.
I love listening to his laughter as he watches funny videos or reads funny stories. I love the sparkle in his eyes as he talks about dinosaurs and video games and things that excite his imagination.
I don’t know what happens at the end of this life when our time is up, but it is my hope that maybe we can go back and live and relive in those memories we love, the golden moments that live in my heart.