Love and Marriage and Our Son

I have been married for twenty-one years.

My husband Joe and I have five kids.

Our second son has autism. He is fifteen.

Now, I may not know much, but I do know children exert an extraordinary amount of pressure upon a marriage. They like teeny-tiny constriction workers, yielding jackhammers

If you add one in who never sleeps, smears soap on the walls, and screams all day, well, that’s when things get really interesting.

You is righteous.

You are never home on time.

You have to take care of the sink.

You

I is vulnerable.

I need you.

Together, we are forced to trust humankind. We turn our faces toward the world and with outstretched palms, we present our complicated boy.

This is a very helpless, tenuous position. It’s like trying to balance upon frozen water with stilts strapped to your shoes.

The thing is, he is always sure when it comes to our special son.

I don’t mean he believes in him more than I do—he simply believes in him differently.

And this is a very beautiful thing.

When I see the spectrum ceiling, he sees a blue, blue sky.

I see a diagnosis, and he sees an important boy, who will grow into important man.

Perhaps it is the very point of marriage.

He makes me nuts.

He uses every dish in the house when he cooks.

He reads the mail the second he walks in the door.

He yells loudly, but he forgives easily.

I know the shape of his hands better than I know my own.

Anyone can unclog a sink. That’s not the hard part.

The hard part is holding one another up, even as the ice cracks beneath your feet.

Written by, Carrie Cariello

Carrie Cariello is the author of What Color Is Monday, How Autism Changed One Family for the Better, and Someone I’m With Has Autism. She lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband, Joe, and their five children. 

Carrie is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY Parents, the TODAY Show, Parents.com. She has been interviewed by NBC Nightly News, and also has a TEDx talk.

She speaks regularly about autism, marriage, and motherhood, and writes a weekly blog at www.carriecariello.com. One of her essays, “I Know What Causes Autism,” was featured as one of the Huffington Post’s best of 2015, and her piece, “I Know Why He Has Autism,” was named one of the top blog posts of 2017 by the TODAY Show.

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Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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