My Son, My Teacher

Social Pragmatic Communication Disorder, just saying it makes me feel as alone as my son. I’ve become an extension of his brain, a place to store all his esoteric knowledge about hummingbirds and basilisk lizards. I try to pretend the repetition is normal, the constant cataloging of information, but I find myself inundated, overflowing with facts I’d rather forget.

His world exists in paper animal masks that he meticulously designs and colors, then wears, embodying each creature. I time him running around our block, his peregrine falcon wings flapping off his seven-year old imagination. I vacillate between fully joining him, wearing the mask he made me, and living in fear that he will never change. That tension between what is and what I want, exists always.

Meditation has helped me navigate parenthood. The breath only knows one moment, this one, now. When I detach from my dreams of him playing basketball and having abundant friends, I get lost in the beauty of his being. His seconds in space are unencumbered by my expectations, he is free.

My son has become my teacher. I no longer dwell on his future, schools he will attend, careers he might explore, that is gone. Instead, I’m with him, all of him, in this very second.

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