The simple request my son made that I’ll never forget

My son had a really rough night last night, and tough day today as well with the flu. I’ll spare you the gory details, let’s just say that we didn’t get much sleep and he didn’t eat anything today.

As the day unfolded, I continually went over in my head the next blog post that I would make about how he has never been the “sucky” type when sick, quite the contrary. He tends to just shut down, get mellow and do nothing all day. Sometimes we don’t even know he’s sick except that he’s not doing anything.

But as I prepared my boys for bed, something trumped all of that. The hours and hours I had been writing and rewriting in my head were gone in an instant and replaced with what I am writing right now. I was that surprised by it.

I am one of the very fortunate parents that does get regular hugs and kisses from his children, even though one of them has Autism. Rather than what you would call a “regular” hug and kiss though, I get them in patterns. I wrote about it here. This has become a part of our nightly routine… get them a small glass of chocolate soy milk, read a story or watch a later episode of Cat in the Hat and then off to bed, hugs, kisses and goodnight.

Tonight, because Cameron has the flu, I had to say no. Cameron stood up in his bed and said “don’t forget hugs and kisses!” and I had to say no.. not tonight. It’s most likely that he’s shared it with the family already but it’s still not wise to take the chance so I had to tell him that being sick means getting no hugs and kisses.

His arms dropped to his sides and he said “can I touch you? please? hold my hand?”

At that moment, anything else I had planned to write faded away. I had to write about this. But I never did come up with adequate words to express exactly how hearing those words made me feel.

Honestly… I had no idea just how important that was to him. For all the parents out there that seldom or even never get that kind of physical contact, here was my son pleading with me to not be denied it.

I took his hand, told him make sure he doesn’t breath on me… and pulled him up for a giant sized bear hug.

Flu or not. I’ll never deny him a hug again.

About Stuart Duncan

My name is Stuart Duncan, creator of My oldest son (Cameron) has Autism while my younger son (Tyler) does not. I am a work from home web developer with a background in radio. I do my very best to stay educated and do what ever is necessary to ensure my children have the tools they need to thrive. I share my stories and experiences in an effort to further grow and strengthen the online Autism community and to promote Autism Understanding and Acceptance.

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12 Responses to The simple request my son made that I’ll never forget

  1. K. Mason-Bennett February 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    Stuart, my son is also five years old and has always been the snuggly kind but it wasn’t until this summer that I got my first spontaneous kiss from him. I know exactly how touching that event was to me, and can only imagine how your son’s request went straight to the heart strings.
    Thanks for continuing to put a face on autism – I appreciate it.

  2. Sarah February 9, 2011 at 10:40 pm #

    Stuart – what a wonderful, amazing story! My son Josh is also very affectionate and I have considered myself very lucky that way, just like you. But Josh is not developmentally capable of expressing himself like Cameron did, I just think that’s such a wonderful gift you were given 🙂 Thank you for sharing this, it made me smile on a day when smiles were few and far between.

    ps. Josh is the same when he is sick – just gets very quiet and mellow. Interesting!

  3. Bobbie February 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    I am sobbing now, big ol’ baby that I am. That is just so perfect! Thanks so much for sharing, its those moments that keep me going.

  4. Aasiyah February 9, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

    We just recovered from the flu and it was a difficult two weeks for me and both of my kids. My autistic son is a very affectionate boy. love to give hugs and kisses to me his typical sister and his teacher. During their illness their favorite time was night time when all three of us sat on the rocking chair and we listened to music. I understand why you told him not to kiss you, and I would done the same , but my case i was sick too so it didn’t matter this time. I love to get those hugs from them, and every time he gives me a kiss (he just learned it 1 year ago) I feel that I am the richest women on earth.

  5. Lisa February 10, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    lol I dnt know why I always forget to bring tissue with me to read ur blogs.

    I’m glad you get the hugs, my one personal goal for Racer is that unprompted contact from him.

  6. jennifer February 10, 2011 at 4:04 am #

    hi Stuart this is actually the first time i read your blog, my friend sent it to me. i have a 7 year old typical boy and i am blessed with a 5 year old autistic boy. my oldest was always affectionate so when it came to my second son who did not want anyone to be that close to his face it hurt me and i took it too personally (i have since learned better) i have always asked for hugs and kisses but understood when he just ran the other direction. i noticed his affection in other ways like him touching my hair or just sitting close to me. about a month ago he walked up to me out of the blue held my cheeks and gave me a kiss by himself. i ran to the restroom so he would not see me crying i did not want him to think he had done anything wrong. reading you blog just brings tears to my eyes because so many don’t understand why a hug or a kiss is so special.

  7. Claire February 10, 2011 at 8:19 am #

    Yup, your post hit home with me as well. Before I even knew Eloy had autism, I was always giving him hugs and kisses. He grew up receiving them although he did not know how to give them. Even now he can put arms around me but doesn’t understand to embrace someone. Bedtime is also our “don’t forget the hugs and kisses” time for us. He likes to play hide and seek and makes me work for my kisses. Even at 12 years old, he’s my little boy with so much affection in his kisses. They are always sincere.

  8. The Domestic Goddess February 10, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    Oh Stuart. This really brings tears to my eyes. My boys rarely, if ever, ask for a hug or kiss or even want to touch me but when they do? The world stops, nothing else matters. Just the fact that they want to be with me is enough to keep me going day after day no matter how hard it is.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  9. Mylinda February 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    Hello Stuart, Isn’t it funny that most of the world believes our children don’t like or want to be touched. Even when my oldest kept fussing as a child because she didn’t want to be touched, that was what calmed her. When she was older she always wanted to be touched.

    Now the second daughter w/ ASD wanted to be touched when she was young. Now as a young adult I have to remind her to kiss me on the cheek. Her typical brothers are the same way though so that might be just part of being an adult.

    Anyway thanks for the teary moment, really.

  10. Gina @ Special Happens February 12, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Stuart, how beautiful and yes the simplest request that warms our hearts so. We can never deny them that.

  11. Sue Dixon February 14, 2011 at 10:19 am #

    Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful experience!!! My grandson has Aspergers…While your story was told w/ just words, the love, between you and your son, was coming thru VERY strong…thank you for sharing a very personal moment.

  12. Tammy Mendiola February 25, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    This post brought tears to my eyes! I am so glad you gave him a big hug!

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