These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

This week I am participating in the WEGO Health “Advocating for Another” carnival. Over the next few days, I will be answering blog prompts to talk about our life as an autism family. All of the posts on my blog this week are dedicated to my son James, in recognition for what an amazing brother he is.

Today’s prompt: A few of my favourite things – Write 5-10 of your favourite things about your loved one. Celebrate their uniqueness and be sure to tell us why those are your favourite things.

I make a big deal of the fact that my boys are great brothers to one another, and that is something that means a lot to me. I try to encourage a positive relationship between them in whatever ways I can. Today, though, I want to celebrate them as individuals.


A few of my favourite things about James

1. He is snuggly. When he is sleepy, or simply wants a cuddle, he climbs into my lap and his body relaxes completely against mine. At those moments, he is like my very own teddy bear, all softness and warmth. No matter how bad I might be feeling on any particular day, those snuggles bring a smile to my face. Because how could that not make me feel better?

2. He has a natural sense of empathy that goes beyond his own family. He truly cares about what is going on with other people, and he has an uncanny ability to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. This is one of the things that makes being around him such a magical experience.

3. He has a great imagination. His mind travels to places that would be beyond my wildest dreams. He creates stories about dragons and princesses, about magic toucans on faraway worlds, about unicorns that glitter and shimmer in the dark and fly to the tops of mountains. If you ever want to escape for a while, all you have to do is ask James to tell you a story.

4. He likes running. This interest may or may not stay with him, but for now, I am really enjoying the fact that he likes to go out for little jogs with me. Running was an interest that I shared with my dad, and to be able to share it with my son as well is tremendously special. It is a lot of fun, and it gives us a bit of time together, just the two of us.

5. He is passionate about what he believes in. OK, sometimes the passion comes across as a drama queen kind of attitude that drives me insane, but I love that James speaks his mind. I love the fact that he has strong opinions and a willingness to express them.

A few of my favourite things about George

1. Many people think that children with autism are not capable of affection, but George definitely is. He has a heart full of love and an endless supply of hugs for those dear to his heart. He is tall and gangly, but he is still just about able to clamber onto my lap for a hug. When he outgrows that ability, I will be truly sad.

2. He is a very funny kid. He finds humour in the oddest places and is so enthusiastic about it that we cannot help finding it absolutely hilarious. The humour is handily packaged with the most infectious laugh you ever heard. Once George gets going with his laughter, that’s it. You may as well cancel whatever plans you had because you’ll be too busy rolling around on the floor.

3. He’s a technogeek. Some people just have a knack for figuring out how things work, and George is one of them. When he was about five, I was trying to get the DVD player to work. George watched me wrestle with the thing for a while, and then he clicked his tongue impatiently, elbowed me out of the way, and pressed one button to get the movie going. It is useful to have a built-in tech support person.

4. He is determined. George has definitely inherited a stubborn streak that is in both me and in his dad. If he wants something, he will find a way to get it. There is no problem that he gives up on, and he can be very resourceful in how he goes about finding a solution. Sometimes this is not great from a parent’s point of view, but I love the fact that George just does not give up. On anything.

5. He has a fantastic memory. He only has to go somewhere once in order to know its location, what there is en route, and how long it should take to get there. It can be a little awkward when we’re trying to get from Point A to Point B and George knows where every single donut shop in between is, but if we’re ever in doubt we can just ask him for directions. Who needs a GPS when you have a child with autism in the car?

(Photo credit: Kirsten Doyle)



I am participating in the 2012 Wordcount Blogathon, which means one post every day for the month of May.

When my kids were little – well, littler than they are now – they went to a great daycare centre a few minutes’ walk away from our house. When the weather was nice, the kids would be allowed to play outside at the end of the day while they were waiting for their parents to pick them up. When I got off the bus from work, I would walk directly to the centre, and as I approached, I would hear the sound of children laughing and playing in the outdoor play area behind the building.

There is no sound in the world that is more magical than the laughter of children. I used to treasure that part of every day – those moments in which the sounds of childhood joy floated through the air and reached my ears.

When my boys reached the age-limit of the daycare and had to leave, I knew that I would miss those precious sounds.

Now that both boys are always home by the time I get off the bus, my homecoming is quite different to what it was back then, but it is no less magical.

My husband and children, alerted to my impending arrival by a text or phone call from me, stand together at the front door, peering out of the frosted glass panels on either side. When I appear at the end of the road, my husband opens the door and releases them into our quiet street. They charge down the road towards me, running in that completely natural, unrestrained way that only children are capable of, and they launch themselves at me, giggling helplessly as I pretend to fall over backwards.

By this time, my husband is usually ambling down the road to meet me. We go for a walk around the block, all four of us holding hands. Then we turn and head back towards the house. When we’re about half a block away, we line the kids up.

On your marks!

The kids look up at us with anticipation.

Get set!

George starts to giggle and looks all around him. James, who has acquired my love of running and actually takes this seriously, looks straight ahead as he braces himself for takeoff.


And they’re off, racing each other to the house. In that moment, we are not looking at a child with autism and a child without autism. We are looking at two typical boys, being brothers.

And this is what life is all about. Love. Togetherness. Family.

(Photo credit: Kirsten Doyle)