I have a very good friend who is convinced that Clyde is faking his Autism. I laugh when he says this, because I know that it is not true….. most of the time.
Clyde has moments when it doesn’t seem like he is affected by his condition at all. If you saw him riding his bike and the pure joy and laughter that ooozes from his pores (unlike that god-awful smell he generated yesterday) you would agree. He looks like every other child every where who is just enjoying being a child.
When I had to end things with Reginald, Clyde called him and cursed him out. Seriously, he did. He called him, and left him a message. Almost two full minutes of Clyde speak was on the voice mail. He didn’t use any words but the gist of it was…look asshole my mother is over here crying and this is your fault so fix it.
Clyde knew before I did that it was over and done with which is why he called him.
Mind you… Clyde in school will not indicate that he understands words or numbers or sequences. Yet that day Clyde picked up my Blackberry, rolled through the contacts until he found the one that said “Daddy” and hit send and let loose.
Last week during a particular rough patch for me when it seemed the only thing left to happen was frogs to fall from the sky I tried to go hide and have a crying spell. Clyde is sensitive and he doesn’t like to see me upset. He was occupied with Elmo and PlayDoh so I thought I was safe.
I retreated to the solace of my room and shoved my face in a pillow and let GO. I don’t like to admit that my tear ducts work but sometimes you have to just let go. Better out than in as it is said.
I tried to clean myself up when I heard Clyde coming up the steps, but like any parent knows your children do not walk in your home. They run and he was running. I’d sat up and I was wiping my face when Clyde brought me my phone.
Now I’ve upgraded from Blackberry to iPhone. I also have a code on the phone. Clyde has been trying to crack the code since it got here and to the best of my knowledge he was not successful.
I took the phone and it was ringing. It was calling The Man. Well at this point I completely lost it. Not only did the kid know the code to my phone – he once more called the person he thought was responsible for my condition. This time though instead of admonishing the man on the other end of the phone he wanted me to talk to him.
He stood there and wiped my tears from my face and said: “Daddy”.
Its the only name he’s ever heard me call The Man. He’s never before shown that he acknowledged that name even though the two of them got along very well.
It’s been years since I’ve heard Clyde say something besides MOM.
He will often babble in Clyde speak but its so rare that there is an understandable words in the babble.
He wanted me to call Daddy so that I would stop crying. He didn’t want to curse him out, he wanted me to connect to the one person he thought could make me better.
I didn’t leave a message. I instead found the strength to hug my child and tell him that I love him and that mommy will be ok. He gave me the side eye and went back to Elmo.
I looked at the phone and wondered if on the other end The Man realized just how important that call he didn’t pick up was.