In this moment I see you so clearly. There you sit beside me. Your head resting gently on my shoulder. You melt into me and there we exist together. We live in the sweetness of the moment. I soak in every bit of you and this unfamiliar closeness. You feel calm and relaxed. You are not making a sound. Here in this moment I do not see my son with autism. I look at you and I see you. My son.
I take extra care not to move. I fight back every urge to brush your hair away from your face. To kiss you on the head. I want to stay frozen in the moment with you. I try to memorize you this way; nestled closely against your mommy. Your mommy who yearns for this closeness with you.
And in an instant that relaxed boy slips away. The boy lost in the stillness of a moment. The boy silent enough to hear a pin drop. The boy safely snuggled against me.
You were here with me in this moment. I found you. And now you are lost.
I can still see you. You dash around the room; leaving everything in your wake. I can hear you. You buzz and screech; filling the house with your strangely familiar sounds. I can still feel you. You slam into me; desperately seeking release for the sensory impulses that take over your body.
Just a moment ago you were beside me. And now you feel so far away.
And I am filled once again with sadness and confusion. Lost on a journey I do not understand. Desperate to find answers. To find peace and acceptance for the things that are all around me.
Finding you; and losing you. Finding myself; and losing myself.
Lost means something different to me today than it used to. You are not misplaced. I cannot seek you out. You are not hiding in a closet or underneath the bed. I have not forgotten where I left you. You are standing right in front of me. And yet somehow, in some moments, you feel lost. Or I am lost. Or maybe we are both lost together. Lost in something bigger than both of us.
Because as difficult as it is for me to understand, I know that you do not feel lost as you spin noisily through the world. You are the boy frazzled and frantically moving around our house. You are the boy overstimulated and explosive with energy. You are the boy taking apart the pieces of the world around us and putting them back together. You are that boy. This is you.
And as deeply as I know anything, I know that it is not you that I have found in those quiet still moments. It is me.
Lost deep in that moment I feel found. Lost in something so rare and bittersweet. Lost in something that should feel so familiar. Lost in the simple joy of existing in still peacefulness with my son. And there I am. Lost and found all at once.
And as I revel in the impossible possibility of being both lost and found; I reach a deeper understanding of how you must feel every day. My sweet boy.
Lost in a world you do not understand. And found in the movements and sounds and wiggles that center you and bring you peace.
Not the kind of peace that we may expect. Your peace is not quiet or simple or still. To us your peace sounds loud. To us your peace looks complicated. To us your peace seems rigid. A peace that only you can recognize. A tireless peace that you call home.
Lost and found along the autism spectrum. A loop that does not break. A journey that does not end. Unbounded. Unending. Unwavering. Lost and found and lost again.