Evan paces constantly, picking up items and throwing them down in random spots. He doesn’t play. He just moves from one spot to the next bringing items back and forth. Along the way, he’ll fidget with them, trying to feel the textures.
At least, that is what it looks like he is doing.
Anymore, I’ve stopped wondering if there is more too it. Anymore, I am just weary of the constant movement. Just. Sit. Still. Please.
It’s frustrating – to watch him do nothing but this pacing. It reminds me that he’s abnormal, different, other. I have tried in the past to be fascinated with his otherness, to see his differences with rose-colored glasses. Then, an awareness came to me – I’m looking for something that isn’t there.
I have fought with people over this. I have insisted he knows everything we say, that he is smart. Then, I watch as my husband asks him to pick up a toy and he picks up a blanket. I watch as he paces and I wonder how long have I been clinging to something that isn’t there.
I think the difficulty of autism is the unknown. It truly is possible that Evan is smart. It truly is possible that he has cognitive delay. Depending on the definition of smart, he might have or be both.
Then, I realize as I watch him pace that I am doing the same thing as him. Re-walking the same threads of thought, a pacing of the mind.
But I don’t have to.
I am the consciousness that listens to my thoughts – and lets them go. I let go of the unknown. I let go of whether he is or isn’t smart, whether he knows what i am saying.
As I let go, I am set free.
If only he could be too.