It occurred to me this morning, as I was doing the dishes and wiping over our benches – just how many of my husband’s autistic traits I am thankful for on a daily basis. Despite us having our challenges (as every couple does) and often driving each other around the bend with our complete and utter polarities in personalities, my life is so enriched by being married to a man who is autistic.
What do I mean?
Well, in the space of 15 minutes this morning I am grateful for these four things:
His ability to empathise and feel deeply.
As our two year old daughter Beans was in the throes of a full-on tantrum because she wanted to go do the groceries NOW and it just wasn’t possible, Cj was able to sit with her and patiently, quietly connect with her. He empathised with her and connected on a deep level, so that she soon calmed and was nurtured by his gentle touch and soft nature.
His attention to detail.. again and again.
This came to mind because I have to do the groceries today – a chore I ordinarily leave to Cj, but can’t today. And I hate doing the groceries, especially with a toddler in-tow. So to make the job easier – I asked Cj to write the list. Why? Because he knows the outlay of the store, and he writes the list according to what supplies we encounter first as we step inside. I could never write a list like that – in fact, when I do, Cj always re-writes it because it’s completely haphazard and out of order. Hah! His list is methodical and time-saving, something I value highly. This also came up because last night I needed his help in filling out some forms… partly because I hate doing them because they’re so boring and tedious, but mostly because again, of his attention to detail. Cj’s brain is amazing in that he is able to go over things with a fine-tooth comb and he doesn’t miss details. That’s probably also why he’s so great at his job. I know I would have likely missed questions or answered them incorrectly without his help.
I was about to list the third but realised it came under the same heading, but it’s so important that I’ll just give it its own one.
I am grateful for my husband and his pancakes.. and that’s not a euphemism. Because he cooks them to perfection, without any recipe. They are soft, fluffy and light. And they make my morning better, every time he makes them. It’s almost like they’re a rhythm he has perfected time and time again over the years.
I’ve come to realise over the last ten years of being married that what counts isn’t really the big stuff. It’s not the grand gestures or the overt displays of affection that matter. It’s the small stuff. The regular, special, small stuff. Because they add up. And they never go unnoticed.
Autism definitely brings its challenges , yes. But it’s not all bad. And I know I have said it before but I’ll say it again:
The things in my marriage that I think I value the most are because my husband is autistic and I probably take that for granted when I shouldn’t.
I’ll always love you, babe. And your pancakes. Green sheep.