For a child with autism, emotions are tough. Social inferences and relationships have to be learned. I liken it to trying to teach an alien how to be a human. The alien can be very intelligent, but they don't know how to be 'us.'
Ethan and I have always had a close connection. Even at Ethan's farthest times 'away' - when the autism seemed to be winning...he always wanted to have time to be with me. Snuggling on the couch - no words- were some of our most precious moments.
May 15, 2011. Unsolicited, Ethan told me that he loved me for the first time. Yep, I cried my eyes out. He will always reciprocate "I love you," but he had never just told me on his own. He will now tell me he loves me, unsolicited....a couple times a week. We have that bond and I know that indeed, he does.
Ethan now has a habit of asking me if I am happy. He seems to really worry about it. As soon as I pick him up from school "Mom, are you happy?" Once he is good and awake in the morning; while doing homework; during a tv show.... always worrying. I try to reassure Ethan that I am ok and that I AM happy. I have explained that I do not have to be smiling really big to be happy. I tell Ethan not to worry so much. Sweet boy.
Tonight at dinner, Ethan once again asked me "Mom, are you happy?"
I stopped eating and asked him "Ethan, why do you ask me if I am happy?"
Ethan stopped eating and said "Because I love you. I love you forever."
The way he looked at me and said those words....I could ride through eternity on that love. I truly must have done something really right in my life to have been given Ethan.
My cup runneth over...and so does my heart.