Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

A day in my life (2021)

There is so much beauty in our lives… Tiny colorful details in everyday moments, always present, waiting for our attention to shine, and etch a love memory for future moments so different from today.

I documented a day in 2009, and then one in 2016. I wasn’t planning on doing it this year, but Joaquin and I thought we needed to remember now, before Joey goes back to his office next week, and the current serenity of homeschooling comes to an end. Thursday, we said.

As I reviewed all the footage, I noticed a tiny thought judging our now as less beautiful than the past: In previous years there was more backyard, more play, more time together; and this year is very different. Joaquin is older; we spend afternoons in separate projects (and separate rooms); Joey is currently living in a different time zone; there is less time outside these days (for me, anyway). But this is our now. There’s beauty in these days too. Joaquin has grown, yet I’ve managed to capture the precious small details in his child-teen transition—his last drops of childhood. My dad said:

“He is huge, but still a child. Beautiful, innocent, enthusiastic, collaborative, and full of one thousand more beautiful traits.”

This year’s installment is as much his as mine. Joaquin collaborated taking photos, helping me select the music, watching and celebrating every one of my preliminary viewings, and not letting me postpone the project after having set it in our calendar.

This lovely video is for him…

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