We often pass the time each day with blinders on to the reality of what is visible to us. It happens to everyone – including yours truly. Oftentimes we are in a hurry, we rush, and we take our existence on this earth for granted, in doing so…we also forget to observe. There is a big, bright, beautiful world around us to learn from, to wisdom from, and to draw inspiration from. It is only when someone else removes the blinders from our eyes, may we see this vast spectacular place with clarity again. For me, it is a cycle I have observed over and over.
April is Autism Awareness Month, and in the spirit of the cause, it is why I am writing this weeks’ blog slightly different. Typically, my entries are not so much cause-related but more often than not, observational. Stepping out from the comfort zone is also a part of learning in life, so doing it here, is my endeavor in that regard. To mention my child and to celebrate his gifts, his differences, his indirect teachings, and his inspirations to myself, his big brother Aryn and his momma. We have thirty days to be reminded of others too, who have Autism.
My son is disabled, and his condition is very complicated. I have mentioned it before and continue to do so because he is the one who is constantly teaching me, my family, and everyone he comes in contact with. He is one of two persons, more so than any other, I have been most inspired by. ( The other is his older brother ). Someone who continually makes it a point to reach up and pull the blinders off my eyes. If a day, a week, a month, or even the year has been rather dispirited, typically it comes to a halt after spending time with him.
Kaden is autistic, and he laughs. He laughs a lot. When he does, you eventually laugh too. At what you are chuckling at, most often you have no idea. But you do. He just has that affect on people. It is his special way. And boy…he excels at it. I like to think he wrote the kid’s book on how to be unconditionally happy all of the time. For what he has endured medically, he certainly deserves happiness at this point.
We affectionately call the space he thrives in, “Kaden’s World”. He is nonverbal and possesses limited cognitive and motion skills. He troubles when he walks and requires care 24/7 around the clock, without any deviations. He has cerebral palsy and uses a feeding tube to get his daily nourishment. He loves playing Pat-a-Cake and will gladly give your hand a whack or two to join in the spirit of the song, should you have one (or both) available and ready to go. His love for music, songs, dancing and genuinely being silly while watching videos on his I-pad, is his way of coping in an otherwise difficult and unsuited world. In the one he has created for himself, he is amused and at peace all of the time. We should all be. Another lesson.
Recently after having been cooped up for days on end due to the global pandemic, my blinder has remained off consistently. It feels pretty damn good, I have to admit. It has allowed me to see colors not witnessed in a long stretch, sharpen my auditory skills by listening to the slightest sounds of nature, and to enrich my cognitive awareness by adding a bit of flavor and variety to a daily routine via my new social media community friends and followers.
Like my son, the true voices of reality coexist in this space, and they do it extremely well. Each of them, display their unique abilities, their special powers, and their really awesome perspectives. A reminder of how sizable the world is, and just how powerful we all can be by sharing our own stories upon it. By offering up small glimpses, reminders, and gestures to one another… we are all different in our own way. But we are all alike in our ability to give back and parcel our uniqueness. Many do this extremely well.
For those who choose to partake, it is amazing to see who they are and how they share with one another via this cyber world of instant communication and visual gratification. There are several people I follow with great regularity, their passion for being “who they are” is infectious. A young woman and one young man both in the UK, are the inspiration for this blog in fact.
The ability of countless amounts of folks with Autism to tell their stories with confidence, purpose, and determination is pretty humbling to me. Lately, my new happy place is to go and routinely absorb words, videos, and accomplishments by following one young man and his postings. I shall call him “Alan” for purposes of this blog. I enjoy what he is putting down and putting out there, his messages of embracing our individualities are really incredible. His is a modern-day “Superman”, I just know it. He wears a cape underneath all of that compassion whilst he outwardly communicates his message of unity as a society, and for all to embrace each other’s individualism. In my mind; folks with Autism are a triple-A – Awesome, Amazing, and Able. They are all superheroes. This is their month to shine bright and remind each and every one of us they can.
What a great way to wade through April, by enjoying the collective purposes shared by a few new friends around the world. A constant reminder as to what it is that makes us all a gift to one another – our ability to connect, offer, and to celebrate. It appears lately, we all have a little bit more time to do so. We all will. The surgical masks and gloves should probably remain on, but perhaps make it a point to keep the blinders off, at the very least for 30 days in April.
Hopefully, they won’t fit as well in May.