While the rest of the world sleeps, I hear you stirring in your bed. The stimming starts, The to and fro of your shaking head.
I wait with baited breath, Will you wake happy or sad? But it does not matter, For little sleep we have had.
I check the bedside clock, What hour is it now? My body sighs with disappointment, Another day to follow without sleep, how?
How will I get through the long hours of the day, As you run, jump and giggle, Your delight at being able to play.
I remember the newborn days, The daze of sleepless nights. It won’t always be like this they said, The future of sleep is bright.
But how wrong we all were, And we could never have known, That autism came knocking, Came into our home.
Another night has been stolen, From my child and me. But he does not mind, He just wants to be free.
“Downstairs!” He shouts, He’s ready to play. But what about mum? She’s not ready to face the day.
I lift my heavy body from the comfort of my bed, And put my child back into his, And fluff a pillow for his head.
I feel an ache in my bones as I lie on his floor, I pray for some sleep, Just a little more?
But whether he lays quiet or loud, It does not matter, I am still proud.
Of this little man, laying awake in his bed, His mind is alert, His intellect eager to be fed.
It is him that takes me, Through my sleep deprived days, His happiness beaming, In the way that he plays.
For whilst autism took, And stole my sleep. It gave my child a gift, A gift he can keep.
For he views the world, In such a beautiful way, A way I can’t see, But he shows me each day.
The colours of flowers, The simple beauty of a tree, Appreciate the world around you, My child teaches me.
Back on his hard bedroom floor, Exhausted but grateful, I look to the door. Will I be able to grace my bed once more?
Maybe not tonight, And that’s ok. For I’m always here for you kiddo. Each and every day.
I hope you read this one day, And I hope you know, That despite my exhaustion, How much I love you so.
Keep teaching me kiddo, Through my heavy dry eyes, About the world of autism, For it seems such a prize.
And while the rest of the world sleeps, I will take this time with you, As a precious gift, Seeing all that you do.
Because whilst I might be, Exhausted, emotional and frail, I have you by my side. Wow, what a tail!
Asleep or awake, Quiet or loud, I love you my son, And I am so proud.