Love is expressed in many different ways in our home. One of the very most important things to me is for both of our children to know how much we love them. It has not taken us long to realize that having a child with Autism means you have to think outside of the box sometimes…even when showing love. Sometimes you truly do have to learn Love in a Different Language.
Here are just a few ways we have learned to show love to our sweet boy…
1. Love is- acknowledging his presence. We talk to Ezra just as if he were answering us back in complete sentences. We ask him how is day was at school and tell him how much we missed him while he was gone. He may not even be able to make eye contact…but I think he hears us and he knows when we don’t acknowledge him.
2. Love is- spending hours sitting in the bathtub…with no water…in your clothes….just sitting…..just because. For some reason the bathtub is one of Ezra’s happy places. I think he likes it because it is an enclosed “snug” place. For whatever reason, Ezra is quite content to sit in the tub for long periods of time and instead of just letting him to it- we sit right there with him. I figure we might as well join in on some of the “quirky” things he likes to do instead of just leaving him in his own little world.
3. Love is- singing the same songs or watching the same shows over and over and over again. If that’s what will bring a smile to my little man’s face, we are gonna rock that Veggie Tales CD till it won’t play anymore!
4. Love is- accepting him and loving him for who he is right now…not who or what he may become later. There will always be a new great therapy that makes great promises for my child and his future. While I do strive to get Ezra all the help he might need, I want to always be sure to love him right where he is at. He may or may not develop some great talent or strength in a certain area, and that’s ok. I think he is pretty great just the way he is!
5. Love is- displaying patience even when patience is running thin. There are days that are just hard. Very hard. I never want Ezra to feel as though I have lost my patience and am throwing in the towel for the moment. I firmly believe he can tell when I have started to lose my cool. When patience runs low, dig a little deeper.
6. Love is- big bear hugs and letting Ezra run his fingers through my hair (even Oreo fingers J ). Ezra shows love by unusually tight hugs and loves. He also loves for me to place my head in his lap while he runs his little fingers through my hair. I usually end up with punk-rocker style hair but it makes my boy happy and it fills my heart!
7. Love is- driving around in the car just because your usually non-verbal child said “let’s go!” So, you drive…and drive…and drive…and….
8. Love is- Singing “The Ants Go Marching” at the top of your lungs, no matter where you are or who is watching, just to bring a smile to your child’s face. Really, you should try it! You will get some great looks from people!
9. Love is- Ezra’s big sister driving him in her Power wheel’s car until the battery dies…because it make her baby brother smile. Even though she does not fully grasp Ezra’s disability, it is so important to her to make him feel included and to make him happy.
10. Love is- never giving up. Ever. No matter what.
I am so very thankful the Lord has entrusted Ezra to me. I am so very thankful for the opportunity to learn how to Love in a Different Language!