The pictures paint the story you wish to tell

Social media can be my best friend at times. I’m guilty of putting up a ton of photos that chronicles everything that we do. On the other side of the coin, I manipulate the picture to share only what I want the public to know. This is when social media becomes my worst enemy. This is my daily tug of war when it comes to my family.

What do I share? What don’t I share? What should I share? Should I share at all? All of these are loaded questions that sometimes I have the energy to face them and sometimes I don’t.

The thing is that I didn’t order Autism on a menu for Sawyer. It’s not something that I picked up at the grocery store in aisle 2. It fell in our lap like an ace from a deck of cards. It wasn’t a likely draw but it was the card we were given.

Even a few years into the new world for us, I have been guilty to painting a picture that the world could see.

Many see the happy boy with a smile along with his brother and sister. They don’t see that frustration of slamming his hand to the ground, the long stims of trying to regulate himself as others stare at him. Many don’t see his day to day struggles.

They aren’t here with us as we worry about his future. The endless questions of what Sawyer will face as he chases independence and the survival skills to be on his own someday.

What I do know is that I refuse to chronicle each second of a roadblock. I rather celebrate each success and open up the world to what we know.

So with each picture I share only tells a fraction of the story, I hope everyone can enjoy the life of Autism and Sawyer that I’m trying to share. That’s my favorite picture to show.

The new normal

When I was a child, I loved looking through a kaleidoscope. I would marvel at the colors and patterns that would form as I would turn the dial both clock and counterclockwise. It was almost like my version of Wonderland or Oz.

Just imagine a sea of colors just for a matter of seconds. It took away any thought or fear that existed.

For me, I could return to the world that existed. I could put the kaleidoscope down and return to color pictures of Clifford. I was game to head outdoors and ride my bike. I would take my GI Joe action figures and create a battle in a sandbox.

That was my story. It was what I considered to be normal. When it came to Sawyer, the term “normal” was something that I couldn’t grasp. I had zero clue. However, I became an expert faking that I knew him.

I would pick him up for school and ask him about his day. All he would do would repeat things that I asked him. Otherwise, it was a line from Frozen.

People would ask me how he was doing. I’d say great. What else would I say? I was only going with what I hoped for.

That was my truth.

Sawyer couldn’t play. He didn’t color things for longer than two minutes. He had zero interest in puzzles. He wasn’t like other kids.

His normal wasn’t mine. His was new. It was on me to find a way to learn it. It wasn’t up to him to teach it.