He brushes by me, my eldest son, swatting away the proffered riding helmet held in my outstretched hand. He is singular in his intent, striding over to the woman in the corner with a smile that’s taken over his entire face.
I watch, mesmerized, as my son purposefully approaches a stranger, an action so alien to him my breath catches in my throat.
He pauses in front of her, gazes deeply into her eyes, and rests his head on her chest. I watch as his arm encircles her waist.
She is charmed I can see, only breaks the connection when her adult daughter comes back into the waiting area and slips her arm around her mom.
Justin takes a step back, then emits a loud “eee” as he grabs each of their outer arms with one of his hands.
He smiles ebulliently and looks back and forth into their eyes, communicating his joy at his upcoming horseback riding lesson with every inch of his being.
I am still, watching this new milestone unfold. My son, who is severely autistic and mostly non-verbal, has drawn two people he doesn’t know into his coveted inner circle as I watch in wonder. All too soon the spell is broken, with the women moving on and Justin searching for juice. We move on to our own car, the two of us. I am touched by this exchange, but left wanting more.
I am left wanting so much more.
Not for the first time nor for the last time am I left wondering what is going on in that beautiful brain.
I know until the end of my days I will be left wanting to know his thoughts, his fears, his joys. I’m grateful for what he can express. I’m grateful for what we “just get” without him having to say a word.
But just once I’d like a sentence, a phrase, a sentiment expressed in words or typed.
I want more. It is a wish I keep hidden away, often too painful to contemplate.
He turns and kisses me as he enters the car, his smile sweetening the moment.
And I wonder, as I rev the engine to life, if I will ever get my wish.
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