It’s unsurprising that my middle son and I are exceptionally close. For a whole year, that child (then baby) refused to allow anyone but me to touch his Royal Majesty, and while most parents would’ve been screaming and pulling out their hair, I loved it. Certainly not every day, but most days, it was so unbelievable that a child could love me.

I had a first son, of course, but, thanks to autism, his love has always been something expressed more delicately than Alex, who simply loved me. It was pure, untainted, and one of the most religious experiences of my life. I finally understood what it felt like to be a parent. I’d clung to the notion that I was a parent, yet never felt like it, for so many years.

He’s closing on five now, one of the most intense people I’ve ever known, and still my best small friend. When he’s sick, he crawls into my lap, nestling in like a baby bird, and allows me to bask in memories of those baby days. When he’s well, he scampers around with his brother and sister, stopping briefly to hug me before spinning off to do something else.

For Christmas this year, he got a new butterfly costume. I’ve been anxiously awaiting the day he somehow broke the wings or tore the tutu, so for Christmas he got a second set. He fluttered around the house, stopping only to put on the boots he’d lovingly selected:

May your heart always be joyful, Alex, may your song always be sung.


32 thoughts on “May Your Song Always Be Sung

  1. My relationship with my son is similar- I cherish the sweet sweet affectionate snuggles and that amazing bond. He also has a deep affinity for pink boots and butterfly wings! 🙂
    I’m certainly close with my daughter as well, but she is much more bonded to my husband.
    Much love and Happy New Year!

  2. I’m so glad that you’re letting him be a kid and explore different aspects of his personality! Some parents might freak and say, “My son wearing pink fairy wings?? Oh, hell no!”. My parents insisted that my room be pink because I was a girl, although I liked blue. I still hate pink to this day! Playing baseball and playing with Matchbox cars didn’t make me a lesbian, even though they obviously feared they would. And my oldest son liked to wear girls’ jewelry when he was a kid. He’s now engaged to a wonderful young woman – although if he had been gay, we would have loved and accepted his partner. People get too hung up on stereotypes and gender-based expectations, if you ask me.

  3. Rock on with your bad self, Alex (and Bex). Sing loud and off-key, or loud and perfect pitch. Whatever floats your boat. 🙂

  4. I used to work with a woman many years ago who had a son and a daughter. I will never forget what she told me about sons. She said “Daughters are great, but sons love their mommies.” She told me there was something extra special about the way boys hug their mothers and tell them “I love you Mommy.” I knew then that I wanted a son.

  5. So… did he break or tear the first set? Does he now actually have TWO butterfly costumes? Because I think that might be the best thing ever.

  6. You are so lucky. And your son sounds amazing. My son does a lot of the same things, especially only wanting to be with mommy, which makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside (because my daughter is a total daddy’s girl, and has been since before she was old enough to know who her daddy was).

  7. It is wonderful to have the child of your heart, the one that you just KNOW from the moment they are with you. I don’t mean a ‘favorite’, just different.

    Kudos to you for allowing him to express himself in his own way. There is an amazing amount of quiet strength and compassion in your parenting. Simply put, you are awesome!!

  8. Rock those butterfly wings, dude! And I so covet the boots…..grown ups don’t get the good stuff any more.

    Thanks for being the kind of mom that lets her little people be the little people that they are! My little guy is all about purses and high heels right now (which he can walk in better than me!). I have to introduce him to butterfly wings! (and maybe that will give me an excuse to wear some as well?)

  9. Goodness, he is pretty, isn’t he? What a gorgeous profile. That nose!! I love that you love everything about him. I too am in a stage of just enjoying my girls so much – the fear of the health issues has just faded somehow and now they are delightful (and wicked but they do that) and I am reveling in it. Glad you are too!!

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