Redefining Typical

A Mother, A Son, A Journey…..with Autism

A Hot Mess: One Miracle-Working Speech Therapist and One Elephant September 21, 2012

Filed under: autism-acceptance and hope — Cheairs @ 12:22 am
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Okay, we have been kind of a hot mess here out our house as of late. It you have been following my Facebook updates or some of my posts, you might have noticed that the temperature has been inching up. We have had crying, hitting, and screaming. We have had toys dumped on the floor and sheets, pillows, and comforters stripped off the beds on non-laundry days.  The chandeliers have been swung so high that they hit the ceiling . And “Dawson, don’t put that…quarter/paper clip/magic marker in your mouth!” has come from this mama’s lips way too many times.

And we have been trying to douse the flames. Trying desperately to make this hot mess into something that looks more like a cool paradise.  Well, maybe a cool paradise is a stretch.  But even a stifling summer day in the south with no air conditioning would be better than the hot sand that is blistering our feet as we try to make it to the cool ocean. In the South, you have a front porch and iced lemonade to offer you relief, but at the ocean your feet might get burned before you make it to those cold waves. And as of late, it feels like we are standing in the hot sand and that the ocean is a million miles away.


And once again my son, my Dawson, reminds me that the cool water is there. That the flames are not as high as they look. That with a little help, we can cool things off.

Yesterday afternoon, it was Dawson’s speech therapist who held the hose and was pumping the water. Our Sheila, whose most gentle spirit and contagious energy have lifted my son and our family over the last four years.

Together she and Dawson created.

Molding Play-Doh.

His bright blue eyes watching her.


Pushing. Pulling. Rolling.

Forming an elephant.

Floppy ears.

Round legs.

A beautiful long trunk.

And I looked.

With wide eyes.

I could see it.

I could feel it.

That pink elephant.

Round and fat.

Carrying us across that hot sand.

Placing us next to the cool water.

And making the hot mess just a little bit cooler.



Ms. Sheila’s Elephant


Dawson’s Elephant

Copyright Cheairs Graves September 20, 2012





One Response to “A Hot Mess: One Miracle-Working Speech Therapist and One Elephant”

  1. mary stumb Says:

    A much better elephant than I could have made..Thanksalways for sharingwith me. Mary

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