Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Red Car, Blue Car


Red car, red car, red car; blue car, blue car, blue car. The small blonde-haired boy bent over the toy cars, intently arranging them in the same pattern again, and again. As his mother watched, her face a mixture of fatigue and questioning, she asked herself the same questions she had asked herself so many times. Why the intense fixation over certain toys; the meltdowns, screams over unseen terrors; no response to hugs, so many unfixable behaviors, and most difficult of all, no words, just sounds and small grunts to indicate desires.

As she watched, an image came to her. There is a deep, dark space between us; his thoughts cannot reach me. I cannot comprehend what he wants, what he thinks, how to help him.

The past few years came rushing back, their joy at having their first child, but as time went by, the realization that something was very, very wrong. Tests, doctors, therapists, psychologists, always searching for answers, a way to make Matthew whole, but there were no answers. Her marriage slowly disintegrating from stress and lack of attention. Her husband away at work for longer and longer hours.

As she watched the cars being lined up, her small son seemed to take no notice of her. She tried crossing that deep, dark space again. "Matthew, Matthew, where are you?" He looked up. "Mama?" he said.


This is my entry:  http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/

23 comments:

  1. "Mama?" This was very moving. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. Thank you. It's a very personal story.

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  2. So many parents wish for that one word to connect - this is beautiful. I have a great-nephew who has Aspergers and a co-worker has a son with Autism. Both are high-functioning, but it is still so stressful for the parents.

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    1. My grandson has autism, and he is high functioning, but we have seen children who don't talk, and have so many other problems, so we feel lucky. But there is always that search for answers and understanding. Thank you for your comment.

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  3. Replies
    1. But, a little glimmer of hope at the end.

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  4. My son was diagnosed with OCD when he was 12. The arranging of toy cars is an all too familiar ritual. Thankfully, at 18yo he is managing his disorder and if you didn't know about his OCD, you would just think he was extremely tidy.

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    1. I have learned that there are all kinds of help for OCD, but it is still trial and error. So glad your son is doing well.

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  5. I could really identify with this one. My kids aren't arrangers, but I recognize that space between. I have to bridge that gulf again and again to get them back to me, and there has never been a time when I didn't fear the process.

    Visiting from Trifecta :)

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    1. I think there are more stories to be told about "the gulf." Thank you for your comment.

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  6. A wonderful emotive write. Autism is so completely misunderstood.

    Pamela

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    1. It is misunderstood, but I am hopeful for future breakthroughs, via the computer for those older kids who cannot communicate. Thanks for your comment.

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  7. Reminds me of Jodie picoult's House Rules.

    Such a mysterious disease, disorder, genetic predisposition...the fact we can't even categorize it speaks volumes of the difficulty to treat it.

    Nice piece

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  8. When a connection is made even a tiny one it can be the most amazing thing in the world. This story shows that beautifully! Excellent write. Visiting from Trifecta.

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  9. Thanks for this, loverofwords. This is a really sensitively-written piece. I love the last line showing that all her hard work, the time she has invested, and the sacrifices she has made have not been in vain. Hope you join us for the weekend challenge.

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  10. Dearest Natalie,
    I love your blog and all the stories! I look forward to reading more. You are so talented. It would be my honor to post your blog link on my blog.
    Many blessings to you. Regina

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  11. An exceptional piece of writing.
    In such a small amount of space I have envisioned a lifetime.

    Heartfelt thanks, for sharing.

    Jenny @ Pearson Report
    Co-Host of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z

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    1. Thanks for visiting days after I wrote this, and especially your kind comments. This is a personal story for me.

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