“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 still wonder does he know 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 wants from eBay. I was in a state of emotional conflict at the time; I was so frackin proud that we were talking about Christmas in a conversational way, but that melancholy feeling about does the bacon matter still swirled around my mind. For a split second, we were just a dad and son talking about nature’s meat candy. We talked about the sizzle of the bacon, to be clear I did most the talking, not because he has autism 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, laughter, and how he can humble my stubborn pride. I know that my other two children will remember those moments we spend talking about the “small” stuff. That small stuff is really the foundation of the big memories where you can show your bad dancing, singing, and hopes.
Will he remember the conversation(s) we have about bacon, Christmas or where I might speed on occasion 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 his contribution to our family is one of unfiltered love. He loves all despite of 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 will he remember the bacon or is he thinking why do you keep talking so much about freaking bacon.