Redefining Typical

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

A Poem for Suzanne Wright. A Call To Action; A Call To Be. November 15, 2013



Over the last several days I have watched from the sidelines as the autism community has responded to Suzanne Wright’s Op-Ed piece called “Autism Speaks to Washington – A Call for Action“.

Jess of Diary of a Mom and John Elder Robison have written powerfully about this, and if you have not had a chance to read their words, I encourage you to do so.

As for me, I have written a poem, one that I hope Ms. Wright might see and read. It is my call to action; a call to be. This is what my son has taught me.


To know him is to sit with him.

To stop.

To be still.

To sit in the quiet with my sweet boy.


And I am at the computer, my phone next to me on the table.

Speech, OT, outpatient services, his school program.




Setting goals.

Not being.

Not sitting.

Not being in the quiet.

Not doing what my child has taught me to do.


And I crave the moments of sitting with him on the couch.

To watch him flap his arms and jump with delight when the caterpillar falls off the truck in Little Einsteins: Our Huge Adventure.

Because these moments.

They are pure.

They fill my soul.

They allow me to experience what he is so extraordinarily good at.



And when the days are hard.

For him.

For me.

I reach for the stillness.

For the calm.

And it is there.

It is always there.



In the rhythm of all things predictable.

In the blue of his eyes that ease our pain when I repeat the words that he speaks back.

In his grabbing my hand on a cold fall morning when we walk to school

Smoke coming from his lips.

His request as we walk, “Mommy sing Joyful, joyful.

His smile.

Oh, his beautiful smile as I begin to sing.


And the days can be hard.

So very, very hard.

They can bring us.

Both of us

To our knees.

Our fists clenched.

Our tears hot.


And then we will find it.

What he has taught us.

What I have learned from him.

The teacher that is my sweet child.

Full of grace.

His spirit guiding us.



To Be.


And together.

We will sit on the couch.

We will turn on the television.

Will put on Little Einsteins: Our Huge Adventure.

I will reach for his hand.

He will hold mine.

I will drink in his smile and giggles as he jumps with delight as the caterpillar falls out of the green truck.

I will feel his warm body as he plops himself next to me when this scene in the video is over.

And together.

Yes, together.

We will be.

And once again.

I will say, Amen.



Copyright Cheairs Graves November 15, 2013


8 Responses to “A Poem for Suzanne Wright. A Call To Action; A Call To Be.”

  1. Ann Davies Says:

    Love this, Cheairs!!!! I can picture the whole scene! Sweet Dawson and his sweet mommy!!! Love you both!

  2. mary stumb Says:

    A beautiful Mom, a beautiful boy ,and a beautiful poem,full of love and grace.Mary

  3. Diane Says:

    Simply beautiful. Your words are so vivid and powerful. You are such a wonderful Mom!

  4. rhemashope Says:

    LOVE to you, dear friend.
    Thank you for writing.

  5. […] A Poem For Suzanne Wright. A Call To Action; A Call To Be. November 15, 2013 By Cheairs Graves, mother of an autistic child. […]

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