Friday, December 2, 2011


10 things I wish the world knew about our Charlie:

1. Just because Charlie doesn't look you in the eyes when you're talking to him doesn't mean he isn't listening. He hears and remembers every word you are saying, trust me.

2. Charlie is extremely funny, creative, loyal, loving, honest, and unique. You may never see this, though. He hides it very well when he is out in the "big bad world".

3. Charlie deals with so many obstacles on a daily basis: bright light hurts his eyes, loud noises hurt his ears, he can't stand to be cold or to have his head uncovered outside, he tires easily and doesn't have the endurance for sports-type games, he's extremely afraid of dogs and people in costumes, etc. Charlie is sensitive to so many things that most other people wouldn't even notice. He has worked so hard to overcome these obstacles. So hard.

4. Charlie is not simply "lazy", he has hypotonia (low muscle tone) - something he was born with. He tires easily and prefers more sedentary activities because of it. He has been in therapy for this.

5. Yes, Charlie may be clumsy, but this stems from issues with his gross motor skills. Therapy for this, too.

6. Charlie is not simply "picky", he has sensory issues that interfere with his eating. We are working on this, and have been for years. And, yep, more therapy.

7. Charlie is cherished and adored by his family and those who are close enough to get inside his little world. In turn, he is astoundingly loyal to his "people". Charlie's loyalty is one of his greatest and most poignant characteristics.
The way Charlie loves and protects his baby brother is like nothing I have ever seen.

8. Charlie does not understand a lot of the ways that people relate to each other and are "social" with each other. He is often oblivious to social cues and can appear very rude or uninterested. For this, I apologize. It is something we are constantly working on and one of my biggest fears for him is that he will never "get it". Be patient and persistent when you try to interact with him. Once you finally achieve that "connection", you are in and he will love you for life, I promise (see number 7!)

9. Charlie sees the world in such a unique way that every single day I am surprised, delighted, confused, frustrated, enlightened, sad, amused, and inspired by the words that come out of his mouth.

10. Charlie has Aspergers Syndrome.

I constantly find myself caught in this paradox between how completely amazing Charlie is and the need I feel to apologize for the way he is. I haven't known what to do with this. And mostly? I still don't.

All I really know is that Charlie needs to be loved in a unique way. A way that will fit into the grooves of who he is - grooves that follow very different paths and patterns from the world around him. If you take the time to step outside of "normal" and follow him down those paths and find him there and love him there, I promise you won't be disappointed. In fact, you might not want to leave.


Greg and Andrea said...

Mars, that was simply beautiful. I have teary eyes.

Unknown said...

Ditto to Andrea's comment...tears are welling up in my eyes as well. I have never read a more sensitive and touching commentary as yours, Marlene. I hadn't a clue that your sweetie approaches life with any hindrances...I have always found Charlie absolutely charming and from your blogs/Facebook incredibly in-tune and exceptionally creative. All I know is that under the loving and secure home that you and Shawn provide for your boys will definitely elevate both your guys to the pinnacle of their abilities. Your heartfelt writings are extraordinary and I still think you should pursue a writing career! Hugs, Cheryl

Unknown said...

Not sure why I came up as "unknown"...just ol' neighbor Cheryl leaving the above coment

Christi said...

Wow, so well said. I feel like I know so much about your family through the blog, but I don't know enough. I didn't know he struggled with all of this. I have seen his amazing self through your eyes and it's easy to see why he is so lovable. I am so glad you shared.

Unknown said...

Marsy! You are an awesome mom and I am sure Charlie knows that. I miss you all so much and I miss Charlies hugs after reading this take care!
<3 nik

Anonymous said...

LOVE that guy. So glad that he has let all of us crazies into his little world. I think that shows some real courage on his part ;)
your sis

lori said...

Charlie has touched me and our family by the things he says and does, just by being him, just the way he is. I still think of the prayers you captured by recording, as one example.

That said, I can imagine you having lots of mental and emotional ups and downs right alongside Charlie, wondering which of his actions are what people nowadays deem as "age-appropriate" and what are only Charlie-appropriate!

Hugs your way.

Shelly Cunningham said...

I was just blog hopping & happened upon your blog. This post is beautiful. Poetic & honest. How lucky Charlie is to have your for his mom.
~Shelly Cunningham

Rachel @ Lautaret Bohemiet said...

I don't know why I'm just seeing this post, but it is beautiful, Marlene. I had no idea he has Aspergers. Cam's brother has that too and so much of how you described Charlie fits him too. So different than what the world "expects" but shockingly refreshing and pure in comparison to what the world lacks and has come NOT to expect in people (loyalty, for one). You are such an awesome mama.

Mars said...

Wow. Thanks, Rachel. Your words made me cry. I think it's the confirmation that Charlie's not the "only one" who is the way he is (because sometimes that's how it feels), and the wonderful idea that maybe he will grow up one day to have a sister-in-law who loves him, understands him, and accepts him jut the way he is: different. And yes, the loyalty, man I just love that about him so much. Just love him so much!