The Door Was Open

The story of the missing boy with autism is one that all autism families fear. I admit I said, “That father is in better shape than me. How in the hell was he not able to catch up with his son?”

I was talking so much smack. Until I realized how life was for us in the past. There were days I never left the room that Sydney was in. I didn’t shower because I was on autism watch. I’ll never forget the day she saw the deer from the window. She quickly opened the door and took off running.

My instincts kicked in and I chased her down. I forgot to mention that I was in my underwear. Not the best show for my neighbors. In that moment catching her was my priority.

I know she’s attracted to water and flowers. She will not think and just go! Without fear at all. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous in New York with Syd. My biggest fear was looking away for one second and having her run. If she saw something interesting.

Last night Syd was singing and dancing around the house. She wanted to watch the sunset from the window. I thought that was fine. I put clothes in the washing machine. And when I returned the front door was open. Just a small crack, not wide open.

I froze. I knew she was outside but I didn’t scream her name. Yes, I have chimes on the door. But I didn’t hear them over the washing machine and dryer going.

When I got to the door. My hand froze before I opened the door. Syd’s loud. And I didn’t her singing or laughing. She’s gone. I opened the door. There was my girl singing and dancing on the grass in front of our house, looking up at the sky. As soon as she saw me. The look on her face told it all. She said, “Oops!” “Hi mom.”

Relief came over me along with tears. She realized the rule of not leaving the house. But it was too late. I thanked God and humbled myself for passing judgement on others.

This is one fear that you just can’t get comfortable with living with autism. It only take one second for something to happen. Yes, we are watching our kiddos. But shit happens.

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