My husband holds the razor nervously —-it is an awkward, careful thing to shave the face of someone else. In the kitchen, he had carefully explained to my son exactly what was going to happen. “Mike is going to shave your chin. And your neck.” He held the electric trimmer up so Dominic could see, turned it on and off, twice so he could hear the buzzing. Dominic covered his ears.
“Maybe another night?” I suggested hopefully, because I love them both. Because I’ve lived with autism for almost sixteen years. ”I’m not sure he’s ready now.”
“No, I’ve got it.” Mike said, because as a step-dad he is newer to this, less assuming, always willing. “He can do this.”
As he guided him out the doorwall and on to the deck, Dominic was humming, rocking, nervous. I watched as my husband held his head gently, flipped the switch and moved the razor across Dominic’s chin. Mike was concentrating, I could see his desire to be gentle and thorough, to convey certainty. After a minute, Dominic took his hands from his ears and rested them softly on his chest. I watched his body relax. Soon, he turned his chin up slightly to make it easier, tilting his head left and right. By the end, Dominic was smiling.
This was a small moment, but it is SO BIG, SO SCARY, when you are a person living with autism. Or the person caring for someone with autism.
My husband has known my son for six years, but in spite of this—-because of this?—-he has challenged my expectations. He asks me not to underestimate. He questions how I know what I think I know. He reminds me over and over that dignity is necessary to all people, with or without a disability.
Much like autism, the language of trust can be a mysterious and wordless one.
Give that trust with quiet abandon and an open heart. Watch without judgement, for the big and small ways it finds a way back to you again.
(via Nicole Jankowski, Writer)
found @ 2620 likes ON 2019-09-01 02:02:06 BY ME.ME