Monday, May 22, 2006

He Loves Me, Mommy!

I have to share a moment that we had today...

Jake and Will have always had a brotherly relationship. They play chase, Will seeks Jake out and they giggle and hug together and an observer can see a genuine connection between the two boys. Sadly, Owen has always rejected Jake's attempts at hugs and kisses and has never participated in any games that Jake has initiated with him.

On more than one occasion, Jake has asked me, "why doesn't Owen love me, Mommy?". It breaks my heart. It's tough trying to explain that Owen does love Jake, he just doesn't know how to express himself. How do you tell a four year old that a characteristic of Owen's autism is that he is averse to physical touch from most people, particularly men. In fact, Owen only finally started letting Jonathan hold him in the past couple of months. It's especially difficult because Jake can see that Owen is free with his hugs and cuddles when it comes to the women in his life; me, my sister, his grandmothers, therapists, nursery school teachers, and all of our 'girls'. Jake has said "He hugs you and Gamma. He must not love me".

Now that Owen is signing a little bit, it has opened up an opportunity for Jake to connect with his brother. Today Jake initiated singing Owen's favourite songs and worked with Owen on signing for "more music". Jake was obviously thrilled at how it was going and took it a step further by leading Owen to the middle of the living room and while holding hands, they danced in circles together. This went on for nearly ten minutes. Usually, Owen would throw Jake's hands away and would run off. Today, he not only hung on to Jake, but he looked him straight in the eyes with a huge grin on his face and copied Jake's lead at the dances; jumping when Jake jumped, etc. At one point as things were winding down, Jake stopped dancing and Owen reached up to him and tried to climb into a hug with him. Jake hugged him back and he wore the HUGEST grin on his face. He turned to me and said "Owen really loves me, Mommy!". I cried.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I'm crying too!

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