I Still See You
A tall brown haired boy flips on the kitchen light. I follow him to the counter and pour him a bowl of cereal. I give my son his breakfast and kiss the top of his head. It’s five o’clock in the morning and I can’t help but smirk at how even the sun gets to sleep in. Yet, I’m up and starting my day.
My little boy snarffs down his Fruit Loops, bounces across the room, humming a deep monotone, and flapping his hands together with out a care in the world. His name is Seth and he has two disabilities; Autism and Fragile X Syndrome. You never know when the symptoms of either trial he lives with will strike. Some days are good and he seems happy and calm. With the good comes the bad and on those days it can be challenging to see his real sweet spirit inside.
Seth puts in his favorite DVD of Harry Potter. While waiting for the player to load, our family dog enters the room and licks Seth’s face. I love the sound of the giggle Seth lets out because it’s a contagious chuckle that grows into belly jumping laugh.
Suddenly, Seth remembers the movie but something is wrong. The DVD isn’t playing. He tries restarting it, but it just won’t work. Seth’s face wrinkles and big tears roll down his cheeks. He turns to me and utters one word from his very small vocabulary.
I open the tray and out slides the disc. I pick it up and find it covered in sticky finger prints. After cleaning it off, my heart sinks. A crack ran all the way across the center of the DVD. Clean or sticky, it will never play. I return to Seth to break the bad news.
“Seth, I’m sorry but this can’t play anymore.” I hold up the disc. “Look at this right here. See, it’s broke.”
He doesn’t understand and cries again, this time flopping down on the couch. I turn around to go back into the kitchen. Seth see his shoes on the floor next to him and grabs them.
The next thing I know something hits the back of my head. I snatch the shoe from Seth’s hand. After a few minutes, my arms are bloody from trying to calm him down. I say a silent prayer and ask for some help. Not for myself, but help for my son to give him some kind of comfort and the ability to calm down. I open my eyes and something shinny catches my attention from under the couch. Reaching with my fingertips, I pull out another copy of the movie.
Puzzled how it got there and where it come from, I put it into the player. The movie starts with out any problems.
Seth immediately calms down and realizes what he has done to his mother. His eyes fill with sorrowful tears. Seth tenderly blows on the scratches, digs, and bite marks that cover my arms.
The movie’s theme music plays in the background as his big green eyes, still filled with tears, look back at me. Kissing my cheek, he says, “Sorry,” and wraps his arms around me.
“Seth, I love you too.”
As his mother, I know that even on the hard days when the Autism takes over, my little boy is still behind those green eyes struggling to understand his frustrations. So in these moments when he looks at me, I let him know I can still see him.