Dream a Little Dream…
A guest post by Amanda
I had the most incredible dream a few nights ago. It was so real, because for once, I had actually managed to remain asleep long enough to get some R.E.M. sleep. I might have slipped into a mild coma, I was so tired. But nonetheless, I dreamed.
In my dream, Billy woke me up. He was standing next to my bed and talking, completely normally about his day, about the friends he wanted to see at school, about his favorite things to do. He was looking into my eyes and just talking and talking and talking.
I couldn’t move or speak myself. In my dream, I was purposely remaining silent, because there was a part of me that knew that any sudden sound or movement could burst this moment like a bubble. I treated him like a baby deer that had wandered into my bedroom. If I said or did anything, he might suddenly remember that he was autistic and stop talking.
This was a better dream than the time I dreamed that Josh Holloway from “Lost” turned up at my front door and told me he was madly in love with me and I had to let him down easy.
In my Billy dream, I woke up suddenly. One of the kids probably made some sound on one of the baby monitors.
By the time I was awake, though, everything was quiet. And I felt like I’d been punched. Half-asleep, I kind of clawed at the air where Billy had been standing in my dream, like I could grab hold of that ghost-Billy and pull him into the real world. My face was wet, but I didn’t remember crying.
Then I heard my Billy, the real Billy, over the monitor. He was singing, “If you’re happy and you know it” at top volume. And I knew I wouldn’t trade him for anything in this world. I wouldn’t trade him for an imaginary, perfectly communicating Billy — as much as I’d like to make his life easier.
He’s happy and he knows it.
And so when conversations about a “cure” for autism take place, I’m coming from a different perspective than I did a couple of years ago. If someone handed me a pill and said that I could give it to Billy and his autism would be gone immediately and forever, I’d have a lot of questions. What would happen to his beautiful singing voice? His amazing memory? His fantastic sense of humor? His quirky way of looking at the world? Would he still love to be tickled “On the head, on the feet, on the EYES!!”? Would he still demand “Mama’s bed!” every single morning? Would he still wake up singing?
Billy’s not the talker that he was in my dream. At least, not yet. But we’re getting there. Some days are harder than others — for all of us. But he is making wonderful progress every single day.
I like to think that dream was a glimpse into the future, that for a few brief seconds, I was given the gift of seeing what we’re working toward. Someone somewhere maybe knew that in order to keep hoping and believing and working, I needed to experience what was possible. Maybe it was an early Mother’s Day present from my guardian angel.
Who knows? Josh Holloway could knock on my door any minute now. Poor guy; I’ll try not to break his heart. But you know, it’s only fair to hear him out.
~*~ Find me on Twitter @36×37
~*~ Visit the 36×37 facebook page