Redefining Typical

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

To dance in the rain June 7, 2013

Filed under: autism and camp — Cheairs @ 12:43 pm
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He loves the rain.

With open heart, he stands in it.

Tilting his head back.

Scrunching his eyes.

Fingers spread out.

Arms flapping.

Knees bending.


Feet running so fast.

But in one place.

Now bent over.

Arms folded between his knees.

Shoulders waving.

Eyes speaking.


Mommy look at me.

His nine year old body embracing the spirit of one so much younger.

Like a three year old stomping around in the rain for the first time in his rain boots.

My son does the same.






It is the gift he brings to this world.

To dance in the rain.


In the days to come, my Dawson will go to camp. He will be going back to the place that he has gone to for the past two summers. And once again, I am nervous about sending him off. I have written about the impact that camp had in my life. I have typed away about the most sacred place that my little guy attends — a special camp for children with autism.

When we walk through the squeaky screen door, I will hear the counselors call his name. He will most surely run past them as they welcome him with open arms. They will help him find the ball or hula hoop that he has been talking about for the last week as he remembers what he loves to do at camp.

The counselors.

The staff.

They will hold my son.

And when I sit up at night.

Twisting my hands.

Asking Dave, “Do you think he has fallen asleep yet?”

Or when I tap my thumbs on the kitchen table and with tense voice say,

“I hope they remember not to say anything to him when he gets upset. You know talking only makes it worse.”

Dave will share that he is nervous too.

He will tell me that we can call the camp director in the morning to check and make sure our little guy is doing okay.

And I will breathe.


It is the counselors who make and mold this place on Earth for my son to be.

They rejoice in his scripting.

They sit in his giggles.

They give him space when his anxiety takes over him like a bad summer thunderstorm.

They help my son see his potential.

His light.

His offering.

His innate ability to throw caution to the wind.

To dance in the rain.

They have done this for him in summers past.

They will do it again.

They will hold his hand.

The water will wash over them.

And I will say thank you and Amen.


My little guy jumping in the rain. Reciting from Baby Neptune, “raindrops and puddles”

Copyright Cheairs Graves June 6, 2013




4 Responses to “To dance in the rain”

  1. Diane Says:

    Relax and smile…Dawson will LOVE camp and thrive in all that is offered. What a blessing to have such a special place to go. Have fun!

  2. rhemashope Says:

    I’ve missed reading you, my friend. So glad to meet you and yours here again. “They sit in his giggles.” Ahhhh. Thank God for this special place he can go to every summer. Thank God everyone there can experience the gift of Dawson.

  3. Such an exciting adventure! I know that he will shine again this year!

  4. Be still my heart…this is beautiful, friend! I can relate to all the emotions and the courage it takes (for all of you) to allow him this experience.

    I hope it was a huge success once again. This camp sounds like a pretty special place.


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