Monday, September 27, 2010

Listen to Angels

Its 3 years ago - we are in a psychologist's office

We are still wondering what it is that R has

How can it be autism when we feel so connected to our son ?

( Its still the times when we dont know much about autism and think it means an inability to we know better ) 

He likes to snuggle .. he cannot sleep apart from us " we say

"He loves to nurse still!" I say

"He cries when we leave him with a babysitter " DH adds helpfully

We are so connected , we are thinking

But somehow its hard to show this connectedness, his presence in our relationship, his intelligence, his abilities in her office

"Can you show me any example of an interaction?" the psychologist asks and waits patiently

She is terribly kind and patient but still I feel helpless as I cannot show her how he really is

"We sing songs"? I add brightly

"Can you show me ?" she asks

R starts to smile as I break into the familiar notes " The wheels on the bus"-

And on cue, he holds my hands open and shut, goes bumpity bump , holds my hand to make the wiper actions of swish swish swish

And suddenly we are connected for all the world to see

Later that year we spend some time with a Floortime Psychologist

Her advice – Fill his day with Sing Swim and Swing

Make songs about everything – his routine, any activities

In those early days where we are starting to get familiar with a complete new vocabulary

All feels strange and unfamiliar

Though I am surrounded by  all the things I do not know how to do … singing is one  thing I am actually good at –

And so I sing

Oh how I sing

Somehow singing is  a short cut to  R .

Tolstoy said that  music is  the short hand of emotion. And it is this for us

Somehow with R, where we can  not go with words, we go with song

So we introduce  R to the world of made-up songs

Songs about letters, numbers , body parts, routines

You name it .. we sing it

And R, in turn introduces me to the world of classical music

Enthralled by the background scores of Little Einsteins – he watches the credits of the show intently

And then googles videos of  Moonlight Sonata, of Mozart , Nutracker Suite

Slowly we get into his music

Today it amazes me that there was a time in life when I had never heard the Nutcracker Ballet

Were it not for R – would I have gone my entire life without Vivaldi ?

As I write this post for my wonderful friend Dr Boucher's blog carnival , I realize how much song is woven into the tapestry of our lives

Just a moment ago R walks down the with three Santa dolls

Santa Claus is coming to town – he sings melodiously

I pick him up and twirl with him around the room while singing

K : We …. ( pause)

R .." wish u a merry kismis "

He picks up the second doll and says "Mrs Claus is coming to town"

And then we pick up the tiniest doll and sing together "Baby Claus is coming to town"

A scene from a movie  flashes into my head

In the movie a little aboriginal child being separated from the female protagonist .. wipes her tears and tells her not to worry.

They will never be lost to each other, 

"I sing you to me .. Mrs Boss" he comforts  her

And sometimes I think that is what we  did

We sung our son to us

That is what music did in our lives 

This post was writted for Dr  Boucher's Blog Carnival in September called " Listen to Angels"


Anonymous said...

"We sung our son to us" feels fuller and joyous. Thank you, K!


Kim Wombles said...

Lovely, so very lovely! :-)

Lisa said...


Kim said...

Music is very powerful for some people. I can almost hear R's little voice, and I imagine it sounds a bit like Roc's, who also loves music. I just loved reading this!

Anonymous said...

Music is magical. I love your description of your early visit with the psychologist. Autism or not, it is clear that you have always had a special connection with R, and he with you.

Anonymous said...

*blinking away happy tears*

this was beautiful

Rachel Cohen-Rottenberg said...

So beautiful! I was a musician in my younger life, and it gave me an outlet to express things I couldn't express otherwise. And where would we be without Vivaldi? Such beauty.

Fawn said...

I'm joining the chorus of "Beautiful!"s here. What a lovely post.

Þorgerður said...


Trish said...

How lovely! Sometimes when my son doesn't respond to my calling his name, I will sing it and he always looks up then. Music is such a powerful thing.

danette said...

Beautiful! Music definitely helped those early connections for us too (although our boys generally do NOT appreciate my attempts to sing along... what can I say, singing is not my strong point, lol). I've been excited to see Bitty taking an interest in the piano lately... it is probably the only thing I have seen him be gentle with on his own, no banging but actually playing his own made-up melodies.

Shovona said...

I love the songs that we sing too and feel very nice about it.. I remember the time we were singing the song "Head shoulder knees and toes....." AND our nephew requested encores. that was nice.
love your penned words K

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

This is such a gorgeous post! So much of it resonated with me - thinking that my son did not have autism because he was affectionate, learning words through songs, connecting. Thank you for this!

emma said...

Lovely, my son does the same with "wheels on the bus". A wonderful post.

essbesee said...

beautfully written. music has always been a lifesaver for me. so pleased to hear you and your son share a love for it as well. it is truly a language of its own.

Lynn said...

I'm so happy that we have the same experience with Audrey. We got her to walk because of "Wheels on the Bus". Everything is always set to music and she responds completely to it. She shares the same love of the classical music in Baby/Little Einstein...I feel kind of like a fraud coming to classical music through those videos!

Melody said...

"We sung our son to us"

Tears and heart flutters when I read those words. Tears and heart flutters...and big ole smiles...always when I read your words.

The world needs more of you and K.

*thank you for your loving support of me*

Anonymous said...

I would like to exchange links with your site
Is this possible?

kathleen said...

As always..beautiful poetry. We too sang and sing..may you and your family always continue to make such joyful noise..:)

Anonymous said...

"we sung our son to us".

Oh how you made me weep with that one, K!

Niksmom said...

Gorgeous not only for the poetry of your words but for the love behind all of it. I, too, feel like I have sung my son to me.

Wishing you days full of joyful music!

Anonymous said...

i have a similar story with "wheels on the bus". one of my favorite songs b/c i could connect w/ my Rhema thru it.

'Somehow singing is a short cut to R'.

yes. beautiful!

robin said...

I love that your lives are so entwined with music. With my younger daughter, the only way she'd remember certain things (facts, required memorizations from school) was for us to put it into a song (she has ADD.) It sounds funny now, but I can still sing one of those long Psalms recitations via a rap song that I made up for her (from fifteen years ago.)

Jenny said...

I know nothing about autism but your post was so beautifully written. I'm singing all the songs of my childhood with my little one and can't wait for him to join in too.

I found you via Blog Gems

Unknown said...

I cried the first time I read this (can't remember how long it's been), and I'm so glad you reposted to Blog Gems, because it touched my heart all over again.

Stories Untold said...

"where we can not go with words, we go with song"

So beautifully put.

Funny I should discover this post now since music is the current big thing in my life too.

I relate so perfectly to the singing routine for our children. I help A deal with transitions with songs as well.

The thing that I realize more and more about you and R is how you two have found each other. He gives you a reason to be the most beautiful mother and you give him the reason to be the world's best child.

Music, has been my life savior as well, when all else fails for me, I seek shelter in song.

Superb post!!!!!

PS I edited my Music therapy post - make time to comment:)

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