Post from he hubby:
For a couple of weeks now, my favorite place in the world has been underwater for about six to seven seconds. My little monkey has been pushing himself to go down 9 feet to retrieve his tennis balls in our pool. These balls have dog bites from our dogs that have created holes. So naturally, they sink down when we throw the balls in. Underwater, my son’s eyes and mine convene for about six to seven seconds. I am fascinated by how intense his eyes are when he looks at me as we are both underwater. I also see these air bubbles coming out his mouth and hear his little laugh. He is as excited as I am.
I remember when my daughter was growing up. I loved going to hockey practice with her and helping her clean her equipment. I always felt the importance to make sure her gear was intact. She had evolved into a really good hockey player and loved to take on the boys. She always outgrew her roller blades and uniform each season, and so it was always exciting to get her new equipment before the summer season would start. Her favorite colors were black and “hot” pink. She then moved on to play soccer and there I was always making sure she had her stuff ready to go. I was even more excited when she joined wrestling because I was a wrestler in high school too. I did not want to interfere with the coaching style she was receiving at school so I took on the task to make sure she was getting the right nutrition. Sometimes I would assist with some extra cardio work-outs so she could make weight.
Autism changes the “what you thought was going to be your normal or typical”. When our monkey got diagnosed I felt I had nothing to accept. My son is my son with everything that he is. I felt like this then, I feel like this now. However, swimming has taken a special bonding opportunity for us. He cares not to play with a basketball, or kick a ball, or anything else typical that boys of his age group do. But swimming, OMG he loves it. He even gets mad at me if I want to leave the pool early. There is so much communication when we are both in there. And just like I felt important to take care of my daughter’s equipment needs, I feel just as important in taking care of his pool. It gives me an opportunity to contribute to the thing he loves doing the most. All the long work that goes in to keeping the pool clean and readily pays off when we are underwater and he is staring with those beautiful dark brown eyes. When our feet touch the bottom of the pool we push off to go back up to the top while staring at each other. It’s a beautiful place to be in!!!