I want bacon”, bellowed from his teenage voice. As I started cooking for the king, a melancholy feeling washed over my balding, slightly graying head. As the wave passed from tip to toe, I wondered to myself would he remember the bacon. My son, now a young man at the age of 15, is very involved with his autism (I do not like to say low or high functioning). While he can communicate his needs, I wonder if he knows how much we love him. Hell, if it is a preferred item, he will communicate his wants every second, but I don’t know if he will remember our time cooking bacon together.
Conversations bounced from Christmas to the presents he wanted from eBay. I was in a state of emotional conflict at the time; I was so fracking proud that we were conversationally talking about Christmas, but that melancholy feeling about does the bacon matter still swirled around my mind. We were just a dad and son talking about nature’s meat candy for a split second. We talked about the sizzle of the bacon. To be clear, I did most of the talking, not because he has autism but because I usually do all the damn talking.
As my eyes misted over, I just began to think of how as a father, I want him to understand how much I love his spirit and laughter and how he can humble my stubborn pride. I know my other two children will remember those moments we
Will he remember the conversation(s) we have about bacon, Christmas, or where I might occasionally speed like a roller coaster? Where I look at him and tell him how I love his spirit, laughter, and compassion that he shows to a world that far too often sets low expectations for such an exceptional person.
I want him to know that his family believes he can grow and that his contribution to our family is one of unfiltered love. He loves us all despite our cracks, anxiety, or pain. He takes us as we are meant to be, loving, compassionate, and strong. He has already contributed so much to our hearts and family. That is the puzzle of autism; when I look at him, I wonder if he will remember the bacon or if he is thinking, why do you keep talking so much about bacon.