Week 17 of Serialization of Where Does My Autistic Son Belong? Chapter 17 The First 7 Days
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.
Flying to Bali: Sebastien dozing on the lap of Jerome who cradles him during the flight—a poignant of when love is not enough to keep us all together.
THE FIRST SEVEN DAYS
(August 27th — September 4th, 2016)
In my mind, all I can remember about our moments of leaving for Bali is captured in snapshots. There were the “wefies” of the three of us sitting at the departure gate area, with each of us taking turns hitting the click button. We sported relaxed faces and even smiles — perfect masks that concealed the tumultuous emotions we suppressed deep down inside. But the most memorable photo of all is the quick one that I took of Jerome cradling Sebastien in his lap, while we were on the aeroplane. Both of them were lost in the oblivion of sleep.
With Jerome’s head bent over Sebastien who had snuggled cosily against Jerome’s torso, this image was the ultimate representation of love between parent and child. Except that Jerome was not Sebastien’s biological father. He started out being a stranger who had fearlessly entered our life nine years ago, even though he knew that I had an autistic son, instead of fleeing the other direction. For some inexplicable reason, everything about us, which would have made a man run the other way, had only pulled Jerome tighter into our orbit. Thus, unbelievably, through all the hardships that we had experienced together, we had become a family unit.
This was the beautiful family life that we were giving up by moving Sebastien to Bali. Despite the abundance of love, it hadn’t been good enough for us to keep this family intact. (read: Chapter 17)...