Millo Aldea has seen incredible things in his life, but nothing as beautiful as his Autistic son.
What is the meaning behind the word beautiful? Not the dictionary definition, but what is it that one feels when the word is said?
Was there a time when you felt like something was missing? Even with a great life, excellent spouse, friends, and a solid job, has it felt as if something was still missing? Because just when you think you have everything, sometimes it feels you are empty inside. Life can still lack meaning, excitement, and beauty, even when everyone tells you that you have everything.
I’ve seen amazing murals painted by Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino. I’ve witnessed the glowing Eiffel Tower at night. I’ve stared at a stunning woman walking down the aisle to marry me. My definition of beauty is when something, someone, or an event fulfills the lack of experiencing something meaningful, or when it evokes inspiring positive emotion at least for a short moment. I have never seen anything more beautiful in my life than my son. Nico fulfills whatever emptiness there is, or there was.
Nico was diagnosed with Autism when he was two years old. And yes, I was concerned and scared. After two years, I still am. But knowing this, it has made him even more beautiful to me. His innocence, his lack of understanding, his independence, and his many unique ways make him the one person that earns the most of my attention.
I have a daughter too. She is two. Aria is such a beauty, with such a personality as well! The total opposite of my boy. Extremely social, stubborn, fearless, and eats everything, unlike Nico. My Aria has me in the tip of her fingers. Because I dedicate more time to Nico, due to how much more help he needs, Aria (being my princess) doesn’t have to fight hard to get what she wants from daddy. I’m not saying what’s the right or wrong thing to do as a parent. I’m just sharing with you how it is with me.
It has been very hard dealing with Nico’s challenges. Things such as him not being able to chew food due to high sensory feelings in his mouth, and having to chop everything in little pieces for him. Communicating with him and understanding each other. Breaking routine and his explosive tantrums. His little sister quickly catching up to him. Worrying about bullying, schools, education, therapies, insurance and many other things. One of the most unfortunate aspects of dealing with an Autistic child is the money that companies and the “healthcare” system are wanting to take advantage of when dealing with Nico’s condition. They have never cared or asked me how is he doing. They are only concerned for what “he needs.” Sometimes sales people involved in a Network Marketing company swear that their product can “cure” people with Autism. They don’t seem to understand that Autism is not a disease. People don’t die from having Autism. That makes me very upset.
But if that Autistic soul had to be born inside of someone, I’m glad it was my son. Because everyone has told me I’ve been blessed with him, but I also believe he is fortunate to have me as well. Because of the way I act with him and the things I’m willing to do for him, the sacrifices and what I’m willing to struggle with for him, like no other human being.
Nico has made me a better person. He has made me appreciate the little things and grow to like other children. Without him, life is less of everything. With him, life is just so much better. And he will have an extraordinary life. I know that for sure. He means something not just to me, but to everything that I now believe in. So he is well protected. Nico, I got your back!
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Photo:Flickr /Barney Moss