Sound of a Sunset

Posted September 21, 2012 by F. Lewis Stark in Better Life
Flickr image by NeilsPhotography

For those Dadditudes readers who don’t know me, I’m Big Daddy and I write about my fifteen year old autistic son, Griffin.  Most of my posts and books are in the style of Dave Barry and Mad Magazine. Boogers, poop, farts, et al.  But sometimes I like to mix it up.  Here’s a tear-jerker I wrote a few years back.  There may be a longer version out there somewhere, but this is all I’m coughing up at the moment.

Griffin makes a lot of noise. No. I mean A LOT of noise. If he is not sleeping there are always loud sounds emanating from him. We have the maniacal laugh and other verbal stims. There is the sound of him slapping his torso for hours on end. Most of all there are the questions. If he weren’t so cute I would swear the relentless questioning is some sort of KGB plot to drive me insane.

Sometimes, I want to tattoo, “Yes. I like elevators and Wilford Brimley is awesome,” on my forehead to at least cut out 15% of the questions I get every hour. “No. We are not moving,” and “To the bathroom. I am going to the bathroom,” would eliminate about another 9%.

Considering the relentless noise, when Griffin is quiet we get nervous. It sneaks up on you. Like the other evening when Mrs. Big Daddy (the wife) and Lil Sis (the beautiful 12 year-old daughter) were out and the boys were left at home. I was doing a crossword and heard Griffin go to the kitchen with the stated purpose of getting a drink of water. I heard him fill his cup and then …. nothing. For about 45 seconds I heard nothing. He had not left the kitchen. He wasn’t giggling. I got no questions. Silence.

I went to the kitchen to investigate and there stood Griffin, staring out the window at a magnificent sunset. He turned to me, as lucid and “in our world” as I’ve ever seen him and said,

“Daddy. That’s a beautiful sunset.”

It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful sunset I had ever seen. Before I could answer him, Griffin was off to his room to start giggling and, I’m sure, to think of new ways to ask me the same questions I’ve already answered thousands of times. In the meantime, I stood in the kitchen, crying, for what seemed to be an hour.

(Flickr image by NeilsPhotography)


About the Author

F. Lewis Stark

F. Lewis Stark (aka Big Daddy) brings his unique view of fatherhood, and the world at large, to life in his books as well as on his frequently updated and hilarious blog. His tales (and cartoons) from the lighter side of raising a child with autism always spark laughter and discussion. By telling funny and off-beat stories from his life, Big Daddy shows that raising a kid with special needs is not all doom and gloom. To the contrary, it can be quite humorous and inspirational.