Little boy, when you flap, when you grimace, when you contort your body into strange shapes and trot on your toes, some people do not know how to react. Some people, my love, have not heard of stimming. When you twist your hands in front of your face and warp your mouth and scrunch up your features, some people think you are angry or peculiar.They do not know that a happy stim is one of life’s great joys and that your emotions cannot be contained within your little body, within your beautiful mind.
They do not know that every feeling is vibrant, intense, that emotion spills out of you in a fountain of ecstasy and heartache.
Little boy, when you get very close, when you raise your voice and shout repeated phrases or make outlandish grunts and squeaks, sometimes people feel nervous. When you seem to give answers that do not relate to the questions asked, some people think that you are rude or distracted, some people give up and do not try to engage you again. They do not realise that words are precious jewels to you, to be collected and coveted.They do not know that your mind makes language and noise interact in ways that are exotic and exciting.
They do not know that a conversation with you is like walking in a surrealist painting, or a vivid, extraordinary dream – if only you can let go of what you think a conversation should be.
Little boy, when you take a long time to answer, when you do not look people in the eye or seem to pay attention – some people think that you do not see, you do not hear, you do not understand. Some people speak in front of you as if you are not there, as if you are made of stone. They do not know that you are always listening, that you understand more than they can conceive, that you already know you are different, that you have given voice to that knowledge in astonishing and insightful ways.
They do not know that later, when you feel safe, you will ask me what they meant.
Little boy, when the intensity of your focus consumes you, when there is one task, one crucial piece of information and your whole is consciousness absorbed by it, some people do not quite understand that infatuation. Some people think that repetition is boring, are irritated by your persistence, your need to return, again and again. If only they knew the pleasure in sharing your passions.
If only they knew the wonder of seeing the world through your eyes.
Little boy, some people do not see the flickering, white-hot spot of anxiety that is your constant companion. Some people do not know how challenging the world is, how little things can inspire so much terror and pain. Every interaction, every sight, every sound, every demand – a mountain to climb. When you refuse, when you sob and hide and must retreat, some people only see a challenge, a hardship – for them. If only they knew, the sensation of your thumb circling their palm. If only they had felt the calm and stillness of holding you in their arms when the sobbing finally stops.
If only they knew that your happiness is exquisite – a gift worth treasuring, a prize to be cherished and kept safe.
Little boy, you are beautiful, inside and out. You are worth knowing, worth protecting, worth the patience and effort, a million times over, and a million times again.
Of course, I am your mother. No one will ever see you quite the way I do.
But if they are lucky, they might just catch a glimpse.
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