Saturday, November 29, 2008

The beauty of communication even without a voice.

When Meghan was five years old I had to host an after the wedding party for at least 50 people. My brother-in-law was getting married and my husband wanted to give them a good party. Now I must tell you that I really like weddings. I like the fact that I am witnessing one of the most joyful events in someone’s life and an event that families (especially the bride) had put so much effort in the planning of (sometimes up to 2 years) and without missing a beat as far as making sure that their guests also enjoy in the celebration. Now let’s review the word "celebration" for just a moment, shall we! I am no stranger to a couple of glasses of wine (or better yet, champagne) coupled with good music and a dance floor. In fun company and some good music, I’m usually the first one out onto the dance floor—hey, I like fun, music and dancing, what can I say. Even at my last high school reunion that I’d attended (my 15th, 8 years ago) I was very much the only one requesting music from the DJ and even led the, uh-hum, conga line… Oh, fun times! Hey, you can dress me up…

I think because I was so stressed out with my kids, especially the work involved with Meghan, I really knew that I wanted to let loose and have fun at this wedding—so much that I think I single-handedly scared the bride's side of the family, but what the hay! I remember just moments before that I had decided to dance—no one was dancing—and there was so much tension among the family at my table, fighting, jealous bickering, that I stood up and grabbed the first person that I saw and led them onto the dance floor and the rest of the night was dancing history and no bickering!

By the time the party moved to my house, even the brides side of the family came along (still with that same scared look on their faces) and just watched us eat, drink, dance and sing karaoke (welcome to the family!). Meghan, who was being watched by a good friend was delivered back to us and thrown into the throng of craziness. I had decided that my moments of dancing, drinking, and karaoke singer had come to an end and it was time to play good hostess and good mom, especially since I had a difficult and very energetic autistic 5 year old who did not do well with loud noise and uncontrollable turmoil (a typical autistic trait).

Well clever Meghan didn’t miss a beat because while I thought she would have trouble in the fog of the herd and as the karaoke singers were growing louder and louder, she had decided that she would take matters into her own hands. She grabbed me in the mist of the shuffle and dragged me by the hand and led me into the living room where the singers we grouped together belting out the tunes and dancing up a storm (two attorneys and one business executive were among the loudest of the bunch—and the bride's family had become the unappreciative audience—and even more scared). Meghan led me to the center of the commotion and made me stay, as if saying: sing and dance mom, dance.

So I did and Meghan smiled.

There are moments like these when raising a child with autism. Like witnessing a dementia patient in her moments of clarity. You hold on tight and enjoy them when they come.


Tanya @ Teenautism said...

Yes! The moments of clarity! That's exactly what I've always called them! Thanks for sharing such a beautiful vignette.

babs m said...

yes! yes! yes! yes! yes!

and they are few and far between but carry you through the madness....

autismfamily said...

Nice story Holly. This past weekend was my 30th HS reunion. I was checking out photos on FB since I am in CA and school is in NJ.

I also just read your interview at 5M4M. I love that button and have seen a few before. I was interviewed by 5M4SM and there was no button.

Just the day before Thanksgiving I got notified by 5M4M that the girl I nominated for their PSP contest was 1 of the 10 winners. I know her grandmother from an online website I have been at for almost 9 years now and she was so happy to hear the news. That made me feel good for this holiday weekend.

Now I am asking other twitter members to help out another special needs Mom who was dx'd on Thanksgiving Day with Leukemia. her daughter has a rare form of Epilepsy. I am going to visit later this week at the Hospital.

Anyway, it was nice to read your memories from this party/event.

A few weeks ago my nonverbal son Matthew said Mom and that was a great moment. It was while he was in the bathtub too.

Casdok said...

How beautiful for you! I just love these heart melting moments!