Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Yes or No?

More news came home from school in our older son's communication folder. Our son's speech therapist had shared her notes from the day's session.

She held in front of him the same two pictures of "yes" and "no".

To start, she had asked if he likes Christmas. His answer was, "No."

I had always known that.

She had asked him if Christmas is too loud, to which he again answered, "No." Different? "Yes."

Different! Our son does not like Christmas because it is different!!!!

I thought of all the special things I did to make the day...well...different. The decorations? The food? Is it Santa? The fact that the mall is closed? Any thing in isolation, in combination or in total could make the holiday distasteful to him.

My mind was racing with all the possible definitions the word "different" could carry with it.

She had read during their session today such topics as tsunamis and checking accounts. He answered that he didn't have a checking account and that he'd not seen a tsunami. Yes, it would be confusing for people to know where to go if a tsunami hit.

Dear gracious, I was still singing "Little Duckie Duttle" to this child! Where are our National Geographics???

I wanted to give this a try. I wanted to ask him some questions myself!! But, tell me, If you've never asked your ten-year-old a substantive question, what question would be your very first one?

Deliberately, I walked up the stairs to his room. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and could not think past the sound of my own lungs as they slowly drew in air and anxiously pushed it back out again.

I knocked on his door and walked into his room. He was on his iPad. I'm sure he isn't going to want to speak to me. And, I was right. I assured him, my questions would be brief.

"Just one question," I said, as I held up the two little cards.

"Tell me, are you happy?" I asked.

"Yes," he answered.


Joy and tears spilled through me and out of me like a floodgate that had been opened. Of course, I knew that. I had to learn that a different way, but, my,oh, my, to "hear" it directly from him!

Careful to not come on too strong, I left. But, I kept coming back, always with those two little cards. His tolerance of me wore thin.

What he doesn't realize, is that I had ten years of questions sitting on the tip of my tongue. I had to promise him that, yes, I realize that I am out of control. Yes, I do see that look of painful annoyance on his face.

But, please, if he could just answer one more question...

So far I've learned that, yes, he really does not like the Christmas holiday. However, he is okay with the tree and the presents. He does not like our dog, Rusty, but he likes dogs in general. He likes me, his dad, his brother and his school.

He has friends.

He likes books (his brother asked him that question.) And, although we are distant from our entire family, he knows that he has cousins.

In an instant, I feel as though our entire world has changed. A window has been opened into our son to allow us a glimpse of his thoughts, feelings and tastes.

I am humbled and so very thankful.


  1. I can't even imagine how mind blowing this must feel for you!!! I'm simply overjoyed for you and your family that this window has been opened.

  2. All I can do is sit and stare at him. There's so much I want to say, but, really, it's no big deal to him. He enjoys his world.

  3. wow! that's great... is it the cards that brought it all out?.. is that a new concept when asking questions?...
    ah, rusty.. good thing he doesn't understand... or maybe he does?
    happy for you...

  4. Ditto to Stephtee's comment;
    It's a new world!

  5. That's so awesome, Amy! Brought tears to my eyes reading this!!!


  6. Thank you for all you invested in him, Tasha!

  7. Looks like your family got the best Christmas present possible! So happy for you all.