He Felt Bad!

You know, not every day does a mother celebrate her child feeling bad.  In the world of autism we definitely celebrate odd things.  Today Silas broke my heart, made me feel overwhelmingly loved and made me cheer all at once.

Silas and I spent the afternoon going store to store trying to get donations for his fundraiser this weekend.  He did SUCH a good job and he was so well behaved.  He was very serious about this.  I think he knows this is serious.  He knows he is different and he knows Mommy is trying to get something to help him.  He doesn’t like having the melt-downs that he has, especially around his friends.  He just cannot help it.  I told him his new Hyperbaric Chamber is going to help him a lot with that.

He hurt himself and most of you autism parents know, when they hurt themselves, it can ruin the entire hour/afternoon/day.  He held it together so well but I had to bribe him to Keep Calm And Carry On.  He did though.  We counted down 6 more stores until we got a treat and went home.  He did fantastic.

In the car on the way home I remembered a place where I had dropped up a letter the day before and I needed to do follow up.  I asked Silas if we could stop.  I explained why we had to stop, I explained that the kind thing to do was let me…even though he didn’t want to.  I also explained how I would feel if he said no but I left the choice up to him.  I must do all of this with Silas because he needs to be taught what emotions his actions cause.  He needs to know how each option would make the other person feel.

Silas said no.  He said we did all of our stores and it was time to go home.  Again…so hard to deviate from the plan.  I told him I was sad and we continued driving home.

I was off in my thoughts when I looked through the rear-view mirror and saw that Silas’ face looked incredibly disgruntled.  After asking him what was wrong he said “Mommy, I’m so sorry.  I want you to go to that store, my choice is yes now”.  My heart went up into my throat, Silas felt BAD.  He knew he didn’t want to hurt my feelings and he wanted to make it right.  He understood the feelings he felt and he expressed them properly…in an incredibly mature way.

We had long passed the store but I turned around and went back.  He calmly went inside with me, listened to me get shut down, and got back in the car.  He had made it right.

Once again Silas has shown me how thankful I am for him.  For showing me that humans can overcome gigantic obstacles.  That the things a parent with typical kids take for granted are the things I get to be incredibly excited for. This evening I’m celebrating sympathy, I’m thankful to be given such a gift as a son who loves me SO much.  I am truly blessed.

Autism shines light on all the things we never think about.  There are so many milestones we all meet without noticing, there are so many things about life to be thankful for.


  1. “Mommy, I’m sorry.” My Aspergers daughter is
    18 and I could probably count on one hand
    how many times I have heard those words
    from her. So when they do come, it’s huge
    and special and golden in a way that parents
    of non Autistic children could never understand.
    You are so right.

  2. This is lovely. I completely agree with you that autism shines a light on the little things that might otherwise be missed. We are walking a different path. Our children are not ordinary. The way we see and measure growth and success is not ordinary. Our lives are not ordinary. Our journey may not be what we planned- it is not ordinary – rather – it is extraordinary! I appreciate your perspective!

  3. Ash got “I’m sorry” a while ago, but it was more the form of the thing, and not the content. I’ve been working with him on expressing what he’s sorry for, so he gets in the habit of thinking about it, and, slowly, understanding more of it.

    I’m proud of both of you!!

  4. Brent & Leah, we love you. Recently, while together, Brent had to speak to one of the boys – I think Silas. Gramps was very impressed by the way Brent handled the situation. You both are great parents.

    I could have had a problem. I caught myself eating blueberries and yogurt over the keyboard. One of our friends spilled a cup of coffee over her keyboard and put it out of commission. I don’t want to make that mistake, Gram

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