It was the strangest feeling I have had to date as the mom of an autistic child. It was a feeling I can't quite describe, and am still trying to come to terms with. It was beyond a simple grateful, floated a little higher than hope, and the joy in my heart could be grabbed and held, so palpable it was.

During our Thanksgiving weekend, I gave thanks, as I do every year. For my family and friends, for people in my life who care and share their love, for the ability to be a stay at home mom and provide my children with that security, for my husband who gives of himself to allow this reality, for the level of comfort we lead in our lives, able to provide food, clothing, shelter, in a country with many opportunities available. I was thankful, as I am thankful on any given day.

However, this year there was a touch more. A new experience I was being afforded, one I had never dared to believe could come true. In addition to be surrounded by family this year, each of my children was flocked by a friend joining our Thanksgiving celebration. With Jari, this is not something so confound. Jari is regularly found traipsing with friends, visitors to our home or he to theirs. However, it is no less a blessing, knowing your child is capable of friendship and having that open doors to your soul. But the biggest blessing that filled my heart this Thanksgiving celebration was sharing the table with Kaeden's friend. Kaeden's friend, whom would spend the night and 2 full days with our family, with our son. A true friend.

I am grateful for Sacha. He brought with him a guitar, a duffel bag of clothes, and a sense of something greater that nothing can ever replace. He gave me a feeling of normalcy, of being a typical family who has friends coming in and out at all hours of the day and night. He brought with his presence a feeling of pride in Kaeden, of wanting to show off his home, his village, his family. Wanting to have a good weekend without disagreement, without any discord. And in me, a glowing light that didn't stop shining, knowing my boy, my kid, has a friend. A real-life friend, not just someone he picked up during a tour in a musuem(typical for Kaed), or from a grocery store line a nice old man giving his attention whom Kaeden names his best friend. Not those people who are kind, but not friends; but a true friend. Someone not autistic, but who cares about Kaeden. Who sees problems Kaeden has and yet chooses to still be his friend, and not only be there for him, but try to help him find new ways.

I can't put into words what this meant to me. I can't help but smile when I think of this friendship, typical teenage boys riding bikes and laughing and coming home asking for a snack. It has been a dream of mine...and this Thanksgiving, it finally came true.


Jen (emeraldsunshine.org) said...

I am so happy for you, Kaeden, and his friend.

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

Crying over here...with joy, because I know how truly wonderful that is, how much it means to you. Bless the Sachas of this world!