Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Pool of Tears

There are moments when the pressure, fear, frustration and anxiety of being a parent become so overwhelming and so daunting that a meltdown, at some point, is inevitable.  That is how I felt last Friday.  (Even in Wonderland, there is a threat; though it's not the Queen of Hearts - it's the Committee of Special Education.  But that's for another posting.)  I came home from work, threw myself on the sofa, I put my head in my hands and cried - loudly.  It was the kind of cry that takes over your entire body, my shoulders shook, my head hurt and my chest ached.  I kept wiping away my tears with both hands but the tears continued to spill out from my eyes. And I felt as small and as helpless as Alice, drowning in the pool of tears. 

I had spent the last week researching schools for next year, toured two schools (one of them featured a padded room).  I questioned whether or not I was doing the right thing by Norrin.  And I couldn't help but wonder if there was a place for him...and would I be able to find it?

And then in the middle of my hysterical sloppy meltdown, Norrin walked in the room.  His eyebrows furrowed and he looked at me with genuine concern and confusion.  He put his hands on my face and said, "Do not be afraid Mommy," and gave me a kiss.  Of course, this made me cry even more. In addition to everything I had been feeling, now I had guilt; I hated for Norrin to see me cry.  Norrin then jumped off the sofa and ran away.  He returned with a single square of toilet paper and dried my tears. 

I've read numerous reports on Norrin where someone has noted on his inability to relate.  But in my moment of sadness, he related to me - in the sweetest and most appropriate way.  I knew that I could not be afraid, because I could not fail him.  And it was a comfort to know that as much as I am willing to fight for him and protect him - Norrin was willing to do the same for me.          



  1. Aweee! I also find that my autistic students can relate (and even be empathetic at many times). It's wonderful that he sensed your emotions and came over to comfort you.

  2. What a wonderful and poignant moment. That single square of toilet paper brings tears to my eyes.

  3. Awwww! Oh! Choked up over that single block of toilet paper!

    Love this line (moved me): "I knew that I could not be afraid, because I could not fail him."

    Well written :-)


AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.