Sawyer had two hands, two feet, eyes that had vision, a healthy heartbeat, and possessed every other physical characteristic of a 3 year old. This rundown was a reoccurring message etched in my brain as we continued to research what he needed or for that matter, what we needed as a family to move forward.
The inner dialogue of these unanswered questions became dreadful. I just couldn’t buy into finding answers as being on the Spectrum wasn’t one that provided a textbook. There wasn’t a table of contents that had a 3 year old Sawyer in fine print. His abilities had yet to be seriously determined or defined.
I refused to compare him to other Autistic children because to me, he was Sawyer. I just kept telling myself that if I believed in not comparing Evelyn and Cobe to others that regardless of what Autism would bring to us, I wouldn’t spend my life comparing him to his Autistic peers. To me, I would be creating an imaginary bar and like the other two, I wanted Sawyer to define Sawyer. Nothing else.
Perspective is easy when you’re alone. You can become your own superhero. You can build yourself up to not be broken. The words come easy and those few minutes can convince you that you’re right and not be broken. I felt that those minutes alone; reading about Autism, reading about what it meant, understanding that our family could figure all of this out. It was a jolt of what could be.
The challenge was that once people were around, my entire outlook changed. It was like my moments alone were tilted in a jar. It was like I forgot my moments of being fearless and doubt flooded me.
This was how I felt everyday for months. That moment when someone told me that Sawyer was fine. The moments that those who didn’t know him would say if we did A that B would happen. The moments when people who didn’t know him would somehow be experts on what he was or what he could be.
The noise was loud. I couldn’t ignore it. I was in a permanent glass box and felt trapped.