I am home. Yet, things have a very different feel to me after having been in the states on vacation for the past few months. I feel a little lost, really, as if I have been welcomed home, but the home is not my own. I go through the daily rituals of cleaning and cooking and caring for my family, and everything is just where I left it, yet I sometimes turn to the wrong drawer for a spoon or reach into the wrong cupboard for the cleaning solution. Since our arrival home, there has been so much happening, and I feel just gruesomely tired, as if sleep has betrayed me and I could hunker down for months.
But I think it all stems from the absence of my son in our presence. I await 6pm when I can call him, hear his voice, and conclude that he's doing okay. I walk through our home and don't have his clothes, his messes, his backpack to clean up off the floor. And it has made my life less complicated, less worrisome, less stressed, in simple terms. I have one less person in which to consider when making plans, one less person in which to care for. And that's just not how it's supposed to be. I am sincerely and truly missing my first-born son. Since his birth, I have always had him present, creating havok in my home, just as children are wont to do, are supposed to do. And now, I am lost, his mama without the responsibility of being his mama. The only thing that makes me so is those phone calls that offer me just a slight recapture of having him in my presence, in my home, in my life....and the worries about him that never subside for even a nano-second in time, whether here, there, or anywhere.
The positive side to this is the quality time I have been awarded with Jari. He and i have spent numerous hours just being together, playing, craving an undivided attention from his mama which being a second child has never before been granted. He has asked me more questions about autism in the past week than I knew his little mind held. Yesterday, upon his arrival home from school, he said very matter-of-factly: Mama, all people are the same, right? Except people with autism are not the same as everyone else. Cuz they have a different brain, right mom?
It made me wonder what conversation took place at school, what considerations he makes confronted with explaining who people are, what makes a person alive, happy, successful. How does he come to terms with having an autistic brother, being confronted with problems that a child his age should never have to become acquainted with? And yet, is it broadening his view of people, of accepting people with differences, of making him into a non-judgemental being in a world where judgement and superiority reign?
I am feeling just a little secluded from life as I know it. I circle around, looking for myself, trying to find me, discover where I left her when she ran off on vacation numerous weeks prior. She is not here, but in her place a mama, wife, homemaker with the exact same face, same values and morals...with just a little less energy, a little different form of worry, a little more time on her hands. And a deeper understanding of what it means to cherish her children, whether it be in the form of taking them for a bike ride and baking waffles, or making that phone call to tell them goodnight when the six oçlock bell rings.