Nolan never ceases to amaze me.
I know that he understands more than we realize. He’s got more knowledge in his head than he will ever be able to let us know. And a lot of people don’t see it.
For real, though—the kid can locate almost anything in our house if he’s ever seen it. Of course, it helps that he’s hidden at least half of it from us in the first place
And if you ask him to do almost anything, he knows what you want and will do it any time his teenager sensibilities decide it’s worth his time.
But sometimes he surprises even me.
I’ve been having a harder than normal time lately. We’ve had some rough situations at work and there are more big stressors to come on that front… Plus I’m concerned about how long I’ll be able to support our family working at this job that already has me stressed. And between the ongoing pandemic and the upcoming election and all of the ugliness that always surrounds elections (which seems multiplied by at least 10 in this election cycle) along with hardships that are hitting people I care deeply about, it’s gotten hard to see the good in the world.
Needless to say, I’ve been cranky and blue.
But Monday night, after his hardest and most exhausting day of the week, Nolan was there to fill me right back up with the love that I needed after a particularly hard day.
Wait, what? Nolan? But… autism, right?
And honestly, autism gets in the way of Nolan being affectionate sometimes. Heck—it gets in the way of a lot of things sometimes. But in the moments where his body isn’t fighting to regulate itself and where communication is simple, we get a much better glimpse of who Nolan really is.
The real Nolan—the Nolan that Kirk and I know—is a sweet and lovey guy. And he’s very affectionate (when it doesn’t cramp his style…), and he’s silly. I feel like he genuinely enjoys connecting with people on a one-on-one level.
And Monday night, he gave me all of the love that he had and knew I needed. He asked for tickles on his arms, and he hugged my neck… He giggled his appreciation of our time together and asked for kisses.
And most of all, he reminded me of what’s important and where my focus should be. He and Kirk are the reason that I deal with the stress of work and the ugliness of the outside world.