A Very Short Story in Honor of Autism Awareness
A mother sat with her son on her lap, reading him a story. As the boy listened, he turned the wheel of a wooden car. At the end of the story, the boy turned to his mother.
“Mama has white hair,” says the boy as he reaches up to touch the streak of gray at her temple.
The mother nods, thinking, ‘yes, I have that because I love a little boy who sometimes gets so overwhelmed by this world that he just starts running away; I have that white streak because I’m worried this world will hurt my boy.’
But what the mother says is, “You’re right, I do have some white hair.”
The boy’s small hand travels to the lines on his mother’s forehead.
“Mama has forehead lines,” he says.
The mother nods thinking ‘yes, I have those because I have a little boy who I love so much, who is a unique genius in so many ways, but no one believes me when I tell them because they don’t speak ‘his language.’ I have those worry lines because I’m afraid this world won’t understand my boy.’
But what the mother tells the boy is, “yes, they’re called wrinkles, sweetheart.”
The boy’s hand travels down his mother’s face to her cheek. He says, “mama has cheek wrinkles.”
The mother laughs and squeezes her boy tightly. “Yes,” she says, “I have those because I love a little boy so much, a boy who has made this world such a special place just by living in it. I love a boy who has given me a world of happiness, joy, and laughter just from him being his unique self. And that little boy is you.”
And when the little boy asked to be squeezed again, the mother held her little boy knowing that come what may, that little boy meant the world to her.
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