180410100238 – D
Summary: The struggle having an authism
I wake up exhausted, sensing chaos, and hear a crash from the living room. Blundering out of bed I run downstairs. The plant David bought from the garden centre is lying on its side and there’s water all over the floor. The soil has softened creating a mud slick. Rico wriggles in the mess, like a reptile.
‘Oh, sweetheart.’ Tears bubble up, but I can’t help smiling. He got his swimming goggles on and looks like a bug, grinning with joy.
‘If he was a dog you would not give him house room,’ mum said, once, backing away from Rico. In her book, autism was another name for bad behavior.
I think he was scared, but we all were.
"Come out of the way, darling." I step over the mud slick.
I clean swiftly, careful not to disturb his lined up toys.
But he is laying, and dirty, on the back of the sofa.
I reach for the mop and start cleaning. He must have been clambered over the stairs. I shudder at this new complication.
"Get down sweetie, you will fall."
His solemn eyes stare, lost in a distant landscape.
"You will fall," I repeat, as if struggling with a foreign language.
Marrying David, with his slow smile and gentle hands, gave me no cause for concern. When I fell pregnant we were contented happily. Our only rocky moment came with the diagnosis, just after Rico’s second birthday, when David called the consultant a liar. It lay between us and we stopped talking for a while, which was probably for the best. We might have been tempted to blame each other.
"Let’s clear up and go to the park, shall we?"
"Good job!" I say out loud, as if he come down the stairs.
Rico stares, as if something about the shape of the words has touched him.
David’s parents are hopeless.
"Not all animals live in the forest," his dad said last year, at a barbecue, nodding at Rico crouched by the hedge like a refugee.
After bathing Rico I have a shower with the door open, so I can see him.
"Let’s get your hat on."
He lies on the floor and drums his heels. When I try to pick him up he makes his body limp and slithers away like an eel.
Outside, our breath smokes in the cold air but Rico’s seems content to be in his pushchair. I am relieved the park’s deserted because Rico hates sharing. I do not want to explain about him all the time but I cannot bear people assuming that I’m a terrible parenting.
"We should start going to the groups again, get some help." I said to David, recently.
"He does not know," he said, sadly. "He is happy in his little world, bless him. It is us I feel sorry for."
Released from his pushchair, Rico mounts the climbing frame, while I sit nearby enjoying the space. I try not to think about next year, when he will be big enough to scale the wooden fence bordering the play area.
"Push you on the swing?" I call, knowing he do not want me to. He does not like the swings, just as I never did. I enjoy thinking of us having something in common.
"Slide?" But he is already there, pushing himself down before I can wipe away the raindrops.
The drizzle stops and I pull a letter from my bag. The school we applied to have not got a place for Rico. They have recommended one we do not have much faith in. A weight of worry settles on me.
Rico tugs my jeans. He still has mud in his nails.
"What is it, sweetheart?"
His face glows as he points upwards and I follow the line of his gaze. The sky has lightened, infusing the clouds with warmth. Rico claps his hands. A rainbow, curving gracefully, has captured his attention.
"Mummy," he says and claps his hands again.
"It is a rainbow," I say.
He said it a few times lately, probably does not know what it means.
But still. There is joy in his reflection, in imagining all the words that might follow, one day.
I keep smiling, knowing that tonight my dreams will be sweet.
Thank you to: Tante Rita for inspiring me writing this short prose
Reference: – Microsoft Word
Link for work dramatization: https://soundcloud.com/jorgie-wattimena/creative-writing-midterm