Love will find a way

Where to start? So on Sunday I was in the car with the boys and Jason was using my iphone. He wanted to listen to something through my bluetooth. Now at times I am ok with this, but at times I am not. If you want to hear something funny or interesting or some good music, great, but if you want to play Gangnam Style, I’m not on board. I like to keep up with current music, but give me a break. In any event, he wanted to listen to BrainPop which is educational. They talk about a topic and then you get a quiz. The first topic he played was about the legal system. As an attorney I of course found this interesting. The info was objective, factually correct, and informative. He took the quiz and got a 90. Next topic was about blogging. So now I’ve learned that I’ve violated the blogging “rules”. You are not supposed to give your name, you are not supposed to say where you are located, and you are not supposed to put personal information in your blog. Ruh Roh! Too late to turn back now. Ok so this is not what this post is about, but this was on my mind. My blog, my thoughts, indulge me.
If you are a family member or if you were at Bryan’s Bar Mitzvah, the expression “Love will find a way” will be familiar to you. This is the expression my beloved grandfather, Victor Henschel, used to say about solving problems or dealing with what seemed to be impossible situations. I quoted him in my speech to Bryan at his Bar Mitzvah. This very simple expression, this very basic concept, so small, yet so big, has been in my heart throughout the autism journey and seemed the only true way to express the collective in raising Bryan. You see autism, the autism spectrum, autism spectrum disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, whatever you want to call it, is murky, gray, opaque. You are on boat without a compass in the ocean looking for the north star on a hazy night. So what do you do, you trust your instincts and trudge on.
This love that I’m talking about has taken so many forms over the years, the love of friends and family toward Bryan. But the love that is touching me today is the unlikely love, the unexpected love, the serendipitous love. On Saturday night we went out with some friends for dinner. One of the couples we were with are our friends Betsy and Paul. Their son AJ is the boy I referred to in the blog “I’d rather live in his world than live without him in mine”. We have known them almost the whole time we are living in Florida since the boys started in Kindergarten together. Betsy and I love to geek out about cool party favors and clever gifts and she gave me a good grade for my work at Bryan’s Bar Mitzvah. She watches the details and so her kudos made me proud! At dinner she handed me a small box which she said was for Bryan but I proceeded to open it. See photo. necklaceMy eyes filled with tears. Such thoughtfulness, such listening skills, such love! My grandfather would’ve cried like a baby for such a gift. Friendship personified. It felt as if she reached in and gently touched my heart. So I will call this the gift of autism. I would never have met them if Bryan did not have autism. We do not have a lot in common on paper. The truth is we have made many friends through autism that would have been unlikely friends otherwise. That is the beauty of it. That which is common can overcome that which is not. This is why I have often said that in many ways I am grateful for having autism in my life. The depth of appreciation I have for some of the smallest things in life is enormous. My friend Renee called me the other day to tell me a story about one of her boys on the spectrum. They were shopping and he had picked out something he wanted to get and then when they got to the register he decided he wanted to go back to get something different. She said, “well you already picked out your stuff”. He said “I’ve changed my mind”. A huge statement/concept/declaration from this boy. We celebrated on the phone like he had cured cancer. To us, he might as well have done just that. We also share what I like to call the humor of autism. You have to laugh. If you don’t you will go insane. Bryan’s new expression is “you’re not kidding”. Not sure where that came from but you can imagine it is appropriate about a third of the time but when it is, it’s pretty funny. There are so many situations when we are together with other families or just alone the four of us that we have to laugh. It’s not that we are making fun of Bryan, we are certainly not, but when you land in precarious situations you try to make the best of them. Bryan’s new thing is laughing at anything that has to do with death. He has been watching ET lately. He picks a movie and watches it over and over again for a while and then moves on to the next. Every time ET flat lines he laughs so hard you’d think he was watching Young Frankenstein or Animal House. A few years ago I was with Bryan in Target in the morning after dropping Jason at Hebrew School. It was early on a Sunday and the place was fairly quiet. We were just killing some time (I can always find something to buy in Target) before Speech Therapy. We were walking down the aisle and a man was coming toward us and Bryan yelled on the top of his lungs, “I don’t touch your vagina!” (at least he said don’t and at least the man laughed). I laughed and told him we don’t say these things in public. Can you make that stuff up? Nope. So you must learn one of life’s best lessons; if you can laugh at your stress or your challenges your ability to cope will be that much greater.


4 thoughts on “Love will find a way

  1. I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my difficulty. You are incredible! Thanks!

  2. Hi, i think that i saw you visited my web site so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find things to enhance my web site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

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