Friday, December 10, 2010

Love Repetition

So suddenly Ethan is into repeating certain things. Again and again and again. Thankfully it's not all of the time. His main topics are the water, the basement, and Christmas decorations.

Anna is one of those people who hates routines and sameness (except for oatmeal every morning), so it drives her crazy, especially in the car when Ethan starts yelling at every house we pass. "Christmas tree! Christmas lights!" Actually, what it comes out as is "Chris-x-tree! Chris-x-lights!" and sounds darned cute. Or it does the first 20 times.

For some reason in the bathroom he has to continually comment on the water and the faucets. I think it has something to do with the fact that the water temperature can be kind of confusing. The cold side is cold and the hot side is hot, except the hot side starts out cold and then gets warm and then hot. I can see he's trying to work it out in his brain. "That's cold! That's hot!" "Mamma, that's cold?" he asks/announces multiple times.

And the basement, that scary place (even to me) where he can hear the rumblings and whirrings of the washer, dryer, and furnace (which he calls heater). Now that's it's winter the heat will turn on but of course we don't feel it for awhile...sometimes until he accidentally bumps up against the radiator and is surprised by the heat. "Washer on! Dryer on! Heater on!" he'll announce, again and again. He'll want to open the door and check and listen. He'll see a basket of clothes and hate it sitting there in the middle of the floor. "Put in washer," he'll tell me. Sometimes the clothes are clean, but that's kind of hard for him to realize, especially if I have some of Dan's work shirts just kind of draped over the top. One time I caught him having the time of his life, throwing clean clothes from a basket down the stairs, thinking they were dirty.

Most of the time I find the repetitions mildly annoying. I wonder what causes them and wonder if it's ramped up because he's a little anxious about school or because he's gaining language or just, well, because. I usually try to count my blessings that it's not a more serious problem and ignore it as much as possible.

The other day I found myself really annoyed, though. My brain was tired of listening to him talk about the sink. I just wanted him to be done with that conversation. I wanted, for a second, for Ethan to learn something new without all of the distortions of autism....the repetition, the lack of creativity, the parts that are just "off."

A few minutes later I got in the car and came across a song on the Christian XM station. I have to say I don't listen to it that often because honestly, I get tired of some of the cheesy stuff that's on there. Yet so many times I've flipped to something that I needed to hear:

Who will love me for me
Not for what I have done or what I will become
Who will love me for me
Cause no one has shown me what love really means -- "Love Me," JJ Heller

"Not for what I have done or what I will become." That line ran through my head. Now that's the kind of repetition, the kind of constant reminder we all need. True love is loving someone not for what they have done or haven't done or what they will accomplish.

Is that the way we are loving? Do we know, do we really take in, that that is the way God loves us?

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