24 Jan

Alphonse had had his 20th car ride yesterday and his dad was tiring out. They had been everywhere the whole day, as Alphonse constantly begged, demanded, and when that didn’t work, pushed, pulled, and bullied his dad into submission. A had tried hiding around the house but Alphonse’s bloodhound nose seemed to follow his scent everywhere. I had already gone along in one long-ish car ride, going as far as Greenhills to pick up carrot cake and some fresh Ferrino’s bibingkas (sticky rice cakes). I had to say “No” to the subsequent trips; the car ride made me dizzy yesterday.

On the last trip, my husband was flat out tired and sensing this, I took Alphonse by the hand. I led him to the makeshift school house we had at back and he followed meekly. There I prodded him to jump, run, and dance. Alphonse always has so much energy; he’d never sleep early if we didn’t tire him out. Yesterday, however, he was lazy, lethargic, and relentlessly tried to put one over me by putting down a mattress on the floor. When I stood on a stepladder and challenged him to jump as high as my outstretched hands, he finally got into the groove of our jumping game. After a few minutes, he was squealing in glee, jumping away to the music of the “Chicken Dance.”

We played for an hour, maybe two; I really didn’t notice time ticking away. Also, I had been meaning to fix the school house again so after he wandered off for a water play break, I started cleaning up, fixing drawers, throwing away broken toys and other trash he stuffed in his toy closets. Before I knew it, the sky had darkened considerably. Alphonse had already bathed and gotten ready to bed. He kissed me goodbye and went back inside the house.

He was back just a few minutes later, his eyes already small from sleep but desperately trying hard to stay awake. He took my hand and tried to lead me away. There were still many things left undone and I packed them away hurriedly, reluctantly. I followed him back into the house, up the flight of stairs to our bedroom, and into bed. His dad had fallen asleep while watching television. Alphonse went to his usual spot, in the middle of the large king-sized bed, with me on the right and his dad on the left. He shimmied himself underneath a thick comforter and holding both his dad’s and my hands, gave me his sweetest, most beguiling, most content smile. Then he closed his eyes, still smiling, and went to sleep without a fuss.

I held his hand and looked at him, wondering how long we can hold his hands like this. I fear for our future more and more, as he seems so wrapped up in a world where his father and I are the posts that prop his world up. I looked back at the last two weeks and remembered how angry and lost he was when we were gone. The memory must haunt him still as he seeks us out constantly, perhaps afraid he has lost us forever.

And then I willed the apprehensions away, pushing them out of my mind. The future is still a long way ahead. Tonight, I thought, I give thanks for sleep that came readily to this fearful, insecure man-child.  And moving him closer to my body, I continued to hold his hand, my other hand reaching out to my husband’s free hand. We are locked together, hand in hand. In the stillness of the room, a single thought crossed my mind before sleep finally claimed its prize.

 “We are his bookends, after all.”


7 Responses to “Bookends”

  1. Just A Friend January 24, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Bookends of love, I love that. YOu made me cry today, Kittymama, so you owe me. LOL

    • Kittymama January 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      Haha, LOL. I owe you big thanks for always dropping by my blog. Thank you!

  2. Mrs.Busy January 27, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    Just stumbled into your post. Loved it, your blog too. 🙂

    • Kittymama January 27, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

      Thank you. 🙂

  3. Lyra January 28, 2011 at 4:40 am #

    I can so relate. I was crying for us, for the trials, for the worries of uncertain future and for the unconditional love. Hugs as always.

  4. S February 11, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Hi Kittymama:
    I too am parent to a special son, and follow your blog with a lot of interest. I hope Alphonse feels better soon. Have you read Kristina Chew’s blog titled “We go with him” about their moderate/severe autistic son? She describes how they work with their son to understand his behaviors (which are his attempts to communicate), with quite a degree of success.
    Good luck to your lovely family – your sons and husband are very handsome!

    • Kittymama February 12, 2011 at 5:53 am #

      Thank you for recommending Ms. Chew’s blog; I really enjoyed reading it. I hope to update my site soon with new links on autism blogs. 🙂

      And thank you for your wishes for our family. As difficult as things are these days, I can’t imagine a life without my quirky, and yes, handsome, family. I am very lucky they took their “looks genes” from their father. 🙂

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