Living with Luke 23
It has been a bit of a strange week to be honest, as Tiddles has been very affectionate towards me. Mind you when I say ‘affectionate’ that just means he hasn’t whacked me. Mind you when I say he hasn’t ‘whacked me’ it just turned out that he was after my dislocated – possibly broken – finger, as he likes to twist it and hear me shout. Sometimes it’s like a scene from ‘Marathon Man’ where Laurence Olivier is torturing Dustin Hoffman with a dentist’s drill. But aside from that , he’s been cuddly and wanting to sit with me. And so when Tiddles and I were in the house together last night, in a moment of what can only be described as overwhelming affection, I called up the stairs to him.
“Luke, I love you…” Nothing. So I repeated it.
“Luke, I love you…”
“No!” Came the reply. I don’t know what I was expecting, but such is our lives together that it didn’t even surprise me when he said it.
And yet, during the week when he was sitting on my legs, I looked at him and although he was close physically, mentally I could see that he was in Narnia, with his earphones in and ‘Fireman Sam’ on his iPod. And as always, I craved his company in my land. I reached over and touched his face, feeling how the once smooth baby soft skin had been replaced by slightly but noticeably rougher and definitely hairier adolescent skin. And my heart cried again, as I realised once more that my baby boy was getting older. And not only by the week, but seemingly by the day. Not for the first time is it that I’ve wanted to freeze the moment, stopping this terrible ageing process and hold him at his current age, because the thought of him getting older is sometimes just too devestating to accept. So I stroke his beautiful face, but can see in his eyes that he is just barely tolerating my touch. Not wanting to break contact, I make a mwah sound, and he leans over almost unconsciously and kisses me – and then wipes his mouth after. It’s not a slobbery kiss, but it’s something I and everyone else have learned to deal with when he does that. It’s almost saying,
“Yea, contact, blah, blah, blah, kiss, yea fine…done. Get off…”
It’s something that he has done for such a long time now, but however many times it happens and however many times I can make a joke about it, just once I would like him to – no love him to not wipe his mouth. Make me feel that I am important to him, that he maybe knows how important he is to me? Or maybe even offer a kiss without being asked? But that would be tantamount to a cure wouldn’t it?
But then I’m lucky that I have Tiddles and all his beautiful autistic ways. Everyday I think how lucky I am to have a boy like him, how much he has brought to me, and taught me maybe without even realising it. Because maybe without him, I wouldn’t be here now. Everybody has their demons. Everybody has their own personal battles to fight against everyday. Some survive to fight tomorrow, others sadly don’t. But when your whole world collapses down to just one person and that person, without realising it, demands that you protect him as best you can, then your own demons, your own struggles and weaknesses have to take a back seat. Like everybody else in this world, they surface now and again. But then, almost as if he can sense it, Tiddles does something, or says something, or even writes something that makes me realise that I can’t ever leave him alone without his protector.
So maybe my beautiful little one, maybe I have to think about a time when we are both older and just pick up my sword and fight again…
For you, and for me…