Yesterday my husband and I embarked on a mad purge of household de-cluttering. Al started in the office with the Star Trek models, and I attacked the kitchen drawers and cupboards, followed by the shelf in my writing nook. We were ruthless and unstoppable. It was astoundingly therapeutic.

If ever there was a time to chuck out all of the things that take up unnecessary space, now is that time. Keep only the things that matter. There is no room for the rest. It felt so right, like a ship casting off ballast.

It is a week today since Boodi was diagnosed with ASD. I read so much online information about autism in the first few days that I began to flounder in the depths of it. I realised that I hadn’t even touched the edges of my fear or my grief, and that it may take a long time to be able to.

I understand a lot of things now, that were a mystery to me before. Even though I suspected that Boodi had autism, I was only looking for the signs, not the impetus behind them. We don’t really know where our boy is on the spectrum, somewhere in the middle, but we don’t know what that means, for him or for us.

We drove to Castlemaine in country Victoria today and had a picnic in the Botanical Gardens there. We pushed Boodi on the swing while we ate bites of chicken and salad. He loves swings the best, and I can understand why. I used to spend hours on the swings as a child, and I loved the sensation of dipping your head upside down while you swept through the air. Boodi gets that look of bliss on his face when he swings.

Later, after Lady and I had explored some of the magic faraway trees in the gardens (wonderful heritage listed oak trees with branches which surely stretch outward to fairy cities), I approached the play ground and called out to Boodi. When he caught my eye, his face lit up and he ran toward me with his arms flapping.

I want to tell you this about our child and his autism – he has a bodily lexicon of joy.

He flaps in delight, he spins, he peers out from the beneath the very corners of narrowed eyes. He feels the air with outstretched fingers. He bounces. All with a smile of delight.

They say that “if you have met one person with autism, you have met one person with autism”, and so I have to feel my way between the things that I read and how it manifests itself in Boodi.

I can’t decipher that from any book.

Linking up with #IBOT over at Essentially Jess