The Power of You and I by Caitlin Wray

Since I never have time to listen to my mp3 player anymore, I decided to pass it along to Simon, especially since I’ve read they can really help kids on the spectrum control their auditory issues. Simon absolutely LOVES it. He dances like he’s competing on Randy Jackson's Dance Crew in our front lawn, showing off for cars that drive by (not too sure I’m really comfy with that particular habit). Right now, his two favourite songs are these:

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s chosen these two songs, each with lyrics that play like universal anthems for autistic kids. Then this evening we were at our local park, conveniently located right across from our house. Simon brought his mp3 player to impress the other kids (a transparent tactic to which he fully admits) and while he was on the swings he asked me to hold it for him. So I listened to that second song, I Believe. And then the strangest thing happened: not a cloud in the sky and yet a big ol’ puddle appeared out of nowhere. Climate change? Nope. It was the old mom-turns-into-mushball phenomenon. Without warning, I felt the tears stinging my eyes as I listened to Nikki Yanofsky’s lilting voice sing:

sometimes when I feel I’ve had enough
and I feel like giving up
you willed me to be all I can be
now nothing can stop me

It was filling my ears – I couldn’t hear the traffic, the other kids playing, couldn’t hear Simon or his little brother Seth who was swinging wildly in a baby swing beside him. All I could hear was the song…

I believe in the power that comes
From a world brought together as one
I believe together we’ll fly …
I believe in the power of you and I

And all I could see was Simon literally flying through the air on that swing, being pushed to dizzying heights by his Dad, and little Seth synchronized right beside him with his arms outstretched to the world, tiny hands trying to catch the wind as it feathered his golden curls. Both with smiles like half-moons.

We’ll be the change we wish from others
We’ll stand tall for what is right
And in my heart there’ll be no doubt
The arms of the world will come reaching out
And embrace me to be all I can be
Now nothing can stop me

And since I wasn’t teaching Simon math, or making him a visual schedule, or arranging his OT for his SPD, or playdates for socialization, and I wasn’t giving him his fish oil capsules or blogging about Autism or posting on Asperger discussion boards or reading a parenting book or making gluten free bread for allergic baby Seth or changing his diapers or teaching him ‘car’ and ‘ball’ and ‘dinosaur’ and ‘all done?’ and the baby signs for ‘eat’ and ‘more’ while worrying about his habit of flapping his arms while insisting I don’t care if he’s flapping his arms….. since I wasn’t doing any of those things, and I was just a mom sitting on a park bench watching the two little miracles I’ve made with my life while they played on a swingset.... I let my guard down and without realizing it, I began to cry.

I believe in the power that comes
From a world brought together as one
I believe together we’ll fly
I believe in the power of you and I

Two children swinging happily, the sunset at their backs, without a care in the world. Sometimes this life of special needs and special powers gets so complicated... this, this was the simplest and most beautiful of all possible childhood moments. And set against the soundtrack flooding my ears, it literally moved me to tears.

I believe in the power of you and I.
I believe in the power…
Of you and I.

Here's to simple moments. Here's to complex kids. Here's to the power of you and I.

Caitlin Wray

1 comment:

In Real Life said...

What a beautiful moment!