With all the articles and research about stress and caregiving for parents of children with autism, you would think that it is all gloom and doom. But, for those of us who are deeply entrenched in autism – day in and day out – we know that there are Happy Days!
Today was one of those days! Our school day started with a science project. We watched a short film on oil spills and how it harms birds and marine life. Then, we created our own oil spill with water, blue food coloring (to make the ocean) and vegetable oil. I used feathers from my feather duster to simulate the effect on birds. He was so thrilled to stir the blue oily water. It was exciting to try to clean the “spill” with cotton, then paper towels, and finally dish washing liquid. Although the cotton and paper was able to absorb some of the oil, one drop of the detergent instantly cleared the oil from the surface of the water. It was an immediate reaction.
Watching him smile and enjoying his lesson was like a drop of liquid detergent on my spirit. It cleared all the goop and pollution of anxiety, frustration, exhaustion, you name it – all of that went away. It was an immediate reaction! I was, and still am, extremely content with the state of today. No focus on what will or will not be. In this moment, he is happy. Those are the days that warm my heart and refuel my soul to keep going. We know that there will be difficult times. But hold onto the Happy Days.