Saturday, April 21, 2012

What If

I played the dangerous What If game today...

I was finishing giving Nikko a bath tonight. He was really ticklish so washing his squirmy body was a challenge. He was squealing and belted out loud, high-pitched screams. His arms were flailing and although he gave me some spot-on eye contact to see if I was going to tickle him, they were followed with head rolling, darting sidelong glances and a litany of quotes from YouTube clips with gibberish filling in the gaps. As I helped him out of the tub, I looked at him and wondered....

If he didn't have autism, what kind of personality would he have?
Would he be chatty like Ronin?
Would he be extremely intelligent like his siblings seem to be?
Would he be having a regular conversation with me right now?
Would his movements be less jerky and with more purpose?

I put a towel around Nikko and he was so giggly and squirmy, spouting off a language that sounded like Mandarin Chinese. I felt a lump in my throat growing and my eyes getting teary. Then I told myself to get it together, mentally kick myself in the butt and move on. It only took a matter of seconds for my thoughts to spiral down into a dark place. But it serves no purpose to dwell on the What Ifs. They don't do anything except bring me down into a depressive state. Instead, I stifled my sobs and kept moving forward, wrapping the towel tightly around his shoulders for just a few more seconds before he became antsy and broke free to run down the hall. He dragged his two Linus blankets along and ran to Ronin's bedroom to slam the door shut. Then he raced past me in the hallway back to the bathroom to slam the bathroom door shut. Finally, he ran into his own bedroom and jumped excitedly on the bed, waiting for me to finish our post-bath routine.

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