Autism Treatment Center of America®

Son-Rise: The Miracle Continues

Chapter 6 Part V

Each week, Saturdays and Sundays merged into one another as we eased into our peculiar and unique life-style. We spent many weekend afternoons building miniature indoor bonfires in the living room fireplace. Bryn, Thea, and I would gather up the stubby logs piled at the side of our house. Thea always warned me not to give her heavy ones. Bryn asked for more and more logs until, inevitably, the strain on her arms became apparent in the discomfort visible on her face. The three of us stacked the wood in and beside the brick fireplace.

By packing crumpled newspaper under the grill, we created a base for the flames. Samahria opened all the windows, sometimes even turned the air conditioning on, for our late-summer antics required immediate cooling. And then, as we all sat around, I lit the paper and ignited the many corners of our creation, always careful to have Raun break from his sessions at those moments in order to be with us and to watch, with obvious fascination, the dazzling dancing flames. Reds, purples, and white. As the fire began to roar, Bryn and Thea would cheer and clap. The stereo would belt out Bach as reinterpreted by the Modern Jazz Quartet.

Once sure of the success of our fire, we then would all clear the furniture from the center of the floor, leaving the room bare before the hearth. Bryn would bring in some beanbags while Thea grabbed pillows from the bedrooms. In two minutes, using the soft cushions for support, we were snuggling with one another in various positions on the floor, enjoying the fire and one another. Bryn's head leaned on my legs as Thea's feet draped over my stomach. Samahria lay diagonally across my chest. The Big Bear had become the big bear rug.

Within a half hour, Jerry, Laura, and Nancy joined us, all of them having become part of our evolving family. We disconnected the telephones for the remainder of the day and took turns working with Raun. He played and poked at the fire, then engaged us even more fully in the bathroom. Jerry tossed a ball to Bryn, who returned it through her giggles. Thea asked Laura to play pickup sticks. Samahria kissed me and whispered that she was very happy.

These were beautiful times, when talking and doing became secondary to our being with and flowing with the people we loved. A time when the good feelings of each of us touched everyone else in the room. A time that included an hour-long dialogue that I did with Laura, helping her investigate the beliefs underlying the discomforts she had about school. Samahria brought Raun back into the living room for a few minutes; together, they experimented with Jerry's vibraphone, making different sounds. Bryn and Thea swayed to the rhythm of their music. Nancy stared into the flames. The voices and the music blended, creating a symphony of sounds. Mellow. A togetherness we all treasured. Poignantly aware of loving and enjoying one another.

Chapter 6 Part VI