Two days ago I loaded Oliver's iPad with all the family photos that I had taken over the years. The boy has spent more time than I imagined looking through them and it has prompted some interesting exchanges between us. It feels like we are on the verge of being able to have a conversation about context and memory. We aren't there yet but it finally feels like a possibility. There used to be a time when I was afraid to even hope for such a thing.
Anyway, going through the photos was a good excuse for me to delete a bunch that were repetitive, blurry or out of focus. It was also eye opening in terms of what autism has meant to our family. The pictures show three boys always smiling. And the kid with the biggest smile? Always Oliver. That is one happy kid. And apparently we are always on the go. Yes, it's true, we are a pretty active family and this is, in part, due to Oliver, who is happiest on the go. No lazy Sunday afternoons for us! And the pictures reflect it: hiking, biking, swimming, sledding, skiing, riding the bus, train, trolley, airplane, horses, swings, slides, climbing trees, ladders, walls, mountains. And how far we've traveled! Every inch of our small city, other cities, other states, other countries! It's all there. Autism, it seems, has not slowed down our enjoyment of life one little bit. I wish I could have known that way back when.