Since C has been diagnosed with autism, one of the things he loves are trains and buses, yet, he fears them too. Whenever we step into one, he would need to be carried, and even if there was a seat available for him, he would need to sit on one of our laps to feel secure.
To try and help C to overcome this feeling of fear and imbalance, we have been taking him on short train rides from our home to nearby places. When time is permitted, we would go to Changi Airport and take the Sky train numerous times to train his confidence and get him more acquainted with ‘balance’.
After two years, it’s finally paying off. Last weekend, we decided to take the MRT (train) to have our dinner at one of the shopping malls. When we entered the train, there were seats available at the ‘Reserved Seats’ (priority seating for elderly, woman with children or those with strollers. and those with an injury), so C promptly sat down with his grandpa at the Reserved Seats. For about half a year, he has been able to sit on the chair independently and at times, he would still need to sit on our lap to feel secure. I’m just feeling bliss that things were not like before, when he used to scream, cry and have a meltdown whenever we step into the trains or buses.
But this weekend was different, on the ten minutes train ride, I was standing near the pole which was about six steps away from C. C saw me there. As the train was moving, he looked at me, and slowly, he took his first step onto the floor. My baby was walking towards me. He glee-ed so happily when he reached me, and I did too! I kept saying, “You did it! Awesome!” I wanted to keep him there with me till we alighted but in about ten seconds, I could tell that fear has crept in and he quickly trotted back to sit with grandpa.
Nonetheless, I was exhilarated! I was beaming all the way as we reached the train station. In my mind, I whispered to myself,
“Yes, my dear C, you are growing up. Thank God for this baby step of ‘standing’.
It might have been ten seconds but these small successes really keep me going. And, I guess, we need it. I need it. The child needs it too. That ten seconds of joy and exhilaration from both our faces were priceless. That ten seconds that will keep me going for another ten days, ten months, ten years. I wish for more ten seconds to come.
What are the ten seconds stories that keep you going? Do share them with me. Together, we can go far.