Serialization of Where Does My Autistic Son Belong? Chapter 18: Sebastien's "Graduation"
From time to time, I will hear from parents who have apparently been following my serialization rather closely. It is always a nice surprise for me. Unfortunately, I haven’t been as regular in my serialization as was my original intent. This is particularly the case when I am busy with my paid work as a copy editor, educator, and as an Inclusion & Diversity specialist (kahyingchoo.com). Generating an income with this work is important, as A Mother’s Wish is run on a lot on the voluntary efforts of Jerome and me (that includes free behind-the scenes counseling of families in distress, apart from the public talks and workshops, as well as publications). In the meantime, I am sustaining the “Bali Bubble” for Sebastien and his wonderful carers & family.
So if you would like to move at a faster pace, the book, Where Does My Autistic Son Belong?, is available for sale online at A Mother’s Wish, a social enterprise that seeks to to raise awareness about the need to treat autistic individuals with genuine respect and empathy. Our latest illustrated e-book, Beautiful Monster, a short fictionalised book inspired by Sebastien’s story, is also available.
SEBASTIEN'S "GRADUATION" (ON HIS OWN)
(September 5th — 17th, 2016)
That first night on September 4th, after leaving Jerome, I collapsed into the bed and fell asleep almost right away. There wasn’t even the need for the book that I carried into bed to keep me company. It must have been just 9:30 p.m.
The next morning, I was up as early as 5:30 a.m. From the gaps in the curtains drawn over the floor-to-ceiling windows of my room, I could make out the first wisps of light behind the coconut trees on the not-too-distant horizon. There was something so alluring about the quiet solitude of the early morning that I pulled off my bed covers and jumped out of bed.
Not wanting to wake Sebastien up, I opened the windows gingerly and stepped out across the ledge to the patio. This was a slightly risky shortcut, as it entailed stretching your foot across a small drop to the ground. However, I wouldn’t need to go through the dining room area — the central space separating our bedrooms — and inadvertently wake Sebastien up with my movements by opening the creaky bedroom door and the rattling front doors. Seated on a blue Kettler gym mat that I had placed on the rattan table, I surveyed the rice paddy area stretching out ahead of me, before noticing the droplets of the morning dew clinging tenderly to the leaves of the hibiscus plant in the garden. During that brief honeymoon period, I discovered how sensate one could be and how one’s mind was attuned to one’s surroundings when the world was still and quiet. It was absolutely brilliant. At this golden hour, the morning was just so incredibly peaceful. No inhabitants had yet risen to come by on the dirt path. There were also no traffic noises from the main road to disrupt the calm. In the midst of these natural surroundings, I fell into a meditation... (read: Chapter 18)...
Sebastien's favourite black sand beach in the early days
View from the kitchen window — neighbours far away and challenging walking path
Sebastien's favourite hangout spot at the villa — the front patio with the view of the rice paddies.