Opening Your Arms
© 2009 Julie Jordan Scott
Sam and I have a morning ritual which is ages old. Perhaps it is as old as he is, I have only recognized in as such for the past year or so, along with the comfortable continuity of the exact form it takes.
It is simple.
I open my arms and he steps into them. I enfold his body with my arms, pulling him tight. He keeps his arms by his side and leans into me, surrendering himself to the enormous (to him) energy in his Mommy’s arms.
Our early moment ritual is perfection for each of us.
I don’t insist he wrap his arms around me and squeeze back.
He doesn’t insist I let him go.
We both allow the other the sheer pleasure of giving and receiving love without trying to change the other’s practice or method of loving.
It is a pure expression of love, soulful, selfless, love.
I have heard it said people with autism don’t want physical affection and don’t have much of a skill set when it comes to relating with people.
I have come to know Sam wants physical affection. He loves people and wants their friendship.
Part of my job – and the rest of the world’s job – is to come alongside Samuel and people like him who find these things they want and enjoy and help them learn the way.
It isn’t in insisting he interact with the world in the same way as “everyone else”, it is in realizing we each have our own levels of uniqueness. It is for us to tune into our uniqueness and honor that as well as turn towards other’s uniquenesses and value those, too.
It occurs to me that in opening my arms to Sam each day, it is practice in opening my arms to others: people, ideas, experiences.
What is calling for you to open your arms?
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
Trust God for your day, Today