From the time that I was old enough to think about it, I always promised myself that if I were ever to have children that there would never be a second in their lives that they would not know that they are loved. This would never be something that they would have to wonder about – not for a single moment…
I think I have lived up to that promise to myself.
DC can and does tell me that he loves me many times a day – complete with and accompanied by the “I love you sign”. I know that he understands in his own way, what that means. This is not to say that I believe it is always all about me. Much of the time it is but there are times when he just needs to have something to say. It’s kind of a comfort thing for him. He says it over and over again when he is in an uncomfortable situation or a place that is new to him.
But, back to me….
I especially love it when he, at 25 reverts back to “I love you Mommy” instead of Mom, Mother or Vickie. He is probably one of the most lovable people around and I am willing to take complete credit for that.
Is it just learned behavior and not real emotion?
Is it comparable to the times that I have to make a rule because I know he does not understand something?
Is he just, in his mind, following another rule?
Is he just going through the motions because that is what he thinks he should be doing or how he should be acting?
I used to wonder about that when he was younger but now I am convinced that although I am sure that some of that lovability was originally something that he learned, it IS also very full of emotion.
All of the above does not mean that he does not hear his fair share of yelling because let’s face it, every behavior can not be blamed on his autism.
When these situations arise and he is “in trouble” and after I start finding his apology notes everywhere – we always sit down and have a talk.
“No matter how upset Mom might get when you do something you are not supposed to… I always love you. When you are in trouble, I always love you. You never ever have to worry about that.”
When he is “in trouble” and we have not had the talk in what he thinks is a timely manner, he will come to me and say “Always ‘loves’ you.” He knows it, but he needs to have the talk. It’s a ritual and it is comforting to him.
DC’s ongoing “I Love you” campaign has evolved recently. While all of the above still holds true, he has added, ” Mom, do you love me?” (in his high pitched squeaky voice with the emphasis on the “me”). I know he is not questioning the fact. I know he knows this and I know that he just wants to hear it again. I also know that this line must be something he picked up from a book or a movie because he is using the correct pronouns.
Just to change it up a bit, my response to this question is: “I love you madly”.
Just to change it up a bit more, I will ask: “DC, do you love me?”
His response is another in the long list of words/phrases that he uses that I know I should correct speech-wise, but I do not because I love the way he says them. I hope that this response never changes.
Mom, I love you ‘Magly’.
No corrections necessary……….