It's 2 a.m. I hear a voice across the darkness. "Mommy!" I run to his room. He's hysterical. He screeches and screams. I go through routines until I find the one that works. He looks at me and says “bed”—he wants me to stay. I am awake and tired but couldn't be happier. I cuddle my little boy close to me. His chubby hand pats my arm gently. I nuzzle his velvet cheek and breathe in his Johnson & Johnson's hair. For the moment, I live the dream I had all those months I carried him. I cradle the little boy I imagined I'd have. For a moment I forget the life we do have: therapy, meds, tantrums, hysteria. It all fades into the background as my angel actually welcomes my attention. I feel his foot shift and I will the dream not to end. It shifts again. I know what's coming, but I hold onto the moment for as long as I can. A rhythmic pattern emerges. He's stimming. Reality slams into the room like a spotlight. The screaming starts. I'm no longer welcome. He has returned to his own world. But thank you, God, for my visit with the angel from my dreams tonight. I hold onto the dream praying that one day “autism” won't be part of our vocabulary. And I go back to my bed and sleep to gain strength for another day.
By Laura Sammons, mom of Landon, 2