It’s not uncommon for us to be in a grocery store, or any public place really, and see or overhear a parent at some point, disciplining, correcting, or outright scolding their child. Sometimes, you hear or see, and you agree.

“Yep, I’d have done the same thing.”

Sometimes, you disagree wholeheartedly.

“Oh my, get a grip lady! That’s just a kid being a kid!”

Whether or not most of us realize it, kids have hard days – and they have times where they cannot recognize that they’re overloaded or overstimulated. They’re reactionary and impulsive, and sometimes they have days that are just too hard and they melt down. Some days – well, many days – I understand their plight.

In a household with an autistic child, a hard day can look and sound very different.

Once David has had enough, he melts down into a puddle of tears, and clapping, and pushing, and just all-around difficult behavior to get a grasp on. Sometimes he wants to be held, and sometimes he needs isolation on his own terms; time in his room with the lights dimmed and a movie on usually let’s him regroup and he finds his stride again.

Other times, he needs exactly what you see in the image here. He needs mom. He needs mom’s lap, and he needs mom to wrap him up so he can play with her hair and nestle himself into her arms, and shield him from any more incoming noise or stimulation.

It’s always a bittersweet thing, because David doesn’t necessarily like or enjoy being hugged. When you ask him for one, he will approach you with his back turned and not really let you apply pressure. He becomes very uncomfortable.

So when this happens, it gets soaked up like you wouldn’t believe, and it stays that way until David is done and has reset.

In one hand, you love having this moment with him. In the other, your heart breaks because you know he needs it to help him through a hard time.

Hard day or not, mom will always be there to wrap you in her arms. And no matter how much you try to outgrow it, mom’s lap will always be there to provide you with shelter from a world not made for you.

Love you, little man. ❤️

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