What I did this summer….(Part Three: Cousins)

well, I am back for another segment of the highlights of this summer. In Part two, I talked about my Cousin’s wedding, and surviving such an event with Dak in tow. One of the other Highlights from our trip to Upstate NY was that For the First time in a long time, my mother had all four of her children at home, but even bigger than that, for the first time EVER she had all six of her grandchildren to spoil at the SAME time!! My kids Finally got to meet their cousins in person, rather than just via skype.

I mentioned in Part one that Autism goes with us, and this was definitely one of those times when it was NOT in hiding. At the wedding, We Got Photos of all 6 kids together….

….and I am SO very glad we did. The rest of the time, it was 5 out of the 6 cousins playing, and Dak off doing his own thing. As I looked through my photos from the trip there is not a single photo of Dak playing with any of his cousins. He acknowledged that they exist, and that he had to share grandma and grandpa with them, but beyond that….He didn’t want to play any of the board games with them, or go on any of the adventures. He was content to hover just outside the “circle”, to help grandpa in the barn, and to exist in his own separate world.

Of all the memories and moments, this one sticks out the most….

my youngest and her cousin, instantly inseparable

I thoroughly enjoyed every precious moment with my nieces and nephew, and soaked up all the laughter as my girls played with their cousins, but there was an ever present ache in this momma’s heart as Dak remained at a safe distance, in his own world. It hurts to watch, to realize that this invisible wall named Autism will always be there, ever present, never giving us a break, separating my sweet boy from so much, from his cousins, from his peers. There are moments when silence is deafening, when even surrounded by 5 laughing children, the silence of one outweighs it all.

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