Description of my son Peter in chapter titled: Children of My Heart
Peter has developed from a delectable cherub into a Greek Adonis, emanating strength and solitude. His dark brows hide a deep and unimaginable thought process, as if he has emerged from a sea abyss never before explored by man, and brought with him its secrets. Within the intense blue-green of his eyes and an unexpected alacrity of expression in his face, the drama of his thoughts play out unpredictably. At times he is gentle with an irresistible charm and stunning smile. If he was a magazine model the pages would melt. Other times he flings out complex and challenging truths like a lightning storm over a barren scraggy face of cliff and rock. There is no-where to go for cover. Most of the time now though, he exudes the laid back air of a chilled surfie, proud in his own skin, movements unhurried, telling us with a lazy curve of the lips to relax.
Beginning of the chapter titled: School Days
Two seconds ago I was calm. Now I am ready to erupt. Five years of extreme training has fine-tuned this threatening weapon. All it requires is a son not being willing to wait, or obey an instruction, or dropping down next to me to say, "There is nothing to do."
There is nothing to do. There is nowhere to go. The magma is boiling.
Peter feels it. I feel it. It rises insidiously through my psyche and fires all trigger points along it's inevitable pathway. Inside my body the active volcano is shuddering while molten emotions test my ability to stay in control.
The promise of life-giving groundwater in the guise of health professionals, education specialists, carers, and psychologists has streamed seditiously through the cracks of our autism mountain. Sudden steam, hissing through our eyes and ears and brain, feeding our cauldron.
You are like this. You should do this. Peter is like that. You must say that. Don't call him that. You are being manipulated. Stop doing this. Stop letting him. Devise a consequence. Try this method. Write up this chart. Record your thoughts. Persist. Have you tried a social story. Don't give up. Don't be weak. We have no funding. We cannot help you. The waitlist...
... is over a year.
Extracts from the chapter about my mother and my childhood titled: Shirley Jean
I see her as a little girl two years old climbing the windmill on her farm. Her cute chubby arms and legs have taken her up and up to a tall, windy, sunny place of excitement and adventure. Her father, my papa climbs after her into hot rays of vermillion and marigold - slashed with the mild colour of wheat. His eyes crinkle and his brow is softened with dewy drops of sweat. He is a dashing rescuer, brave and kind. When he is old and I am a little girl like my mummy was, he is sitting in his kitchen and as soon as I am through the front door of his house I am racing racing to Papa. I cannot wait to climb up, high onto his lap and be embraced by him, leaning into his chest, as strong and sure as ever...
... Mum, I see and hear her laughing. How she adored her children. How her eyes lit up with everlasting love for us. Eyes big and blue and deep like an enormous fish bowl with everywhere and every experience and every family member encapsulated in tiny scenes...
... Dad's way was blinding sunlight in our faces, causing us to squint. He was our authority and often abrupt, but he sang a prayer with his children every night and his warm hand on our brow was a comfort. Mum's way was soft cuddly bunnies and sunny daffodils...