June 29, 2012

Autism, Friday fun and Sunday sorrow

Growing up in the rural South, Friday nights were the highlight of my week. I didn’t have much entertainment, just long country roads interspersed with verdant green cow pastures, rundown barns and chicken houses. Friday night meant no school for a few days and the “big city” awaited (the city being Elkin, North Carolina where we’d cruise the roads and meet up at the car wash or Speedy Chef). I hand-washed my chocolate brown 1977 Ford Mustang with the caramel covered roof after school in the last vestiges of daylight, being sure to douse it with Armor All. The excitement of hanging out with my friends and the possibility of meeting new cute boys kept my heart beating briskly in my chest. I thought nothing could ever replace the joy of those teenage Friday nights.

But then along came Jared.

He was the cutest little thing I’d ever seen. I could not believe he was mine. He walked at ten months, stacked 11 blocks before he was 1 year old, and he had the biggest blue eyes I’d ever seen. The joy that child showed when seeing objects fall was incredible, his laughter infectious. The first year of his life I felt like I was the luckiest woman in the world. But then things changed... [ Follow article link ]

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