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Amazement

May 29, 2014

If I have a monument in this world, it is my son.
~Maya Angelou

Oh, my sweet boy.

Ten.

Ten years.

There are so many things I could say right now. So many things I want– I need to tell you.

You are, quite simply, the best thing that has ever happened to me.

You were a surprise. Twice! First when we found out you were growing inside of me, and then when you decided that you should make your grand entrance a full month early. But you are the best surprise I can imagine.

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You are an adventure. You never seem to stop moving. It’s full throttle all the time with you. And even on the rare occasion when your body stops moving quite so fast, it’s as though I can still see the gears in your head spinning, processing, inventing, and savoring life.

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You live life with such intensity. You are an amazing person. You are intelligent, considerate, caring, loyal, incredibly strong and sensitive.

You amaze me. You have to work so hard at your friendships. The effort of interpreting the social world takes its toll on you. I can see it. I can see the exhaustion at the end of the day. But, I’ve never witnessed the level of friendship that you show to people. As hard as it is for you, you go out of your way to befriend the underdog. Or maybe it’s just that you sense something familiar in them.

I’ve seen it in the way you interact with your sisters, the effort of the gentle calm you manage to give them, even when in the midst of your own storms.

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(Photo by Sara Piazza)

You are a gift. Not just to your sisters, but to everyone you meet. I’ve watched you with your other autistic friends, whether or not you knew that they were also on the spectrum, there was a special kind of magic there. And I know that those days are the most exhausting for you. I know that even the fun comes at a cost. But you amaze me each time for a different reason.

Everyone who knows you admires you. You might not hear them, but as you take off down the hill on your dirt bike, they will comment to me on how much you’ve grown up. How you handle yourself so well in those places that used to be impossible.

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I know it’s still hard. I know there are days when you struggle mightily – more than any little boy should ever have to. But I remember where we came from too. And I see the same stories repeated over and over by other moms, here in this strange cyberland. And I tell them about what used to be for you because it may help them to see the amazing young man you have become as a future for their own children. Did you know that you do that for people? That people who don’t even know you adore you?

When you were little, we just didn’t know, we just didn’t understand why you were struggling so much. We just thought you were incredibly shy when you shut down on the t-ball field. We thought you were just an overactive little boy when your preschool teacher kept pulling us aside to tell us what had happened that day.

We blamed ourselves for not giving you enough. For not giving you enough friends, enough discipline, enough routine.

And when things kept getting worse, I kept you and your sister home. After carrying you kicking and screaming out of the mall and church enough times, I gave up. We would stay home for days at a time.

It was so hard. It was so isolating. For all of us.

But when someone finally uttered the words autism to us, it was a game changer. There was a learning curve, to be sure….

But now that you’ve been given the right tools, the right village, the right supports…. You amaze everyone you meet. You inspire more people than you know. You have friends- such good friends. And you are a good friend in return.

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(Photo by Sara Piazza)

I am so proud of the man you are becoming. I know you think I talk too much. You tell me I use too many words. Maybe it’s because I can’t find the right words right now to tell you how very much I love you and how proud I am of you.

I love that this little boy who gives the obligatory lean-style hug, will on occasion spontaneously hug his mama. And have I told you how much I love watching you and your cat, Enzo? The two most active creatures in the house, snuggling together. The you each rub your heads against each other in the morning, every morning. The way you know that he will calm you when you need it. That you have identified one more tool in your box that can help you manage a difficult day. And this. This is beautiful.

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You changed me. And just like I still tell you every night before bed, I must be the luckiest person on Earth, because of all the little boys in the world, God gave me the very best one.

Happy Birthday sweet boy.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Joanie permalink
    May 30, 2014 12:11 am

    I absolutely love reading your stories. I am amazed how elequently you can express your thoughts and feelings. Thank you for a glimpse into your life.
    Luv Joanie

    • May 30, 2014 12:18 am

      Aww. Thanks for taking the time to read them. 🙂 xoxo

  2. May 30, 2014 1:16 pm

    Beautiful unconditional adoring love. I do believe it was Maya Angelou who said something like “the most important thing you can do for your children is think that the sun rises when they walk into the room you are in” (total paraphrase) – you’ve got that, sister!

    • May 30, 2014 8:30 pm

      Thank you! They do make it easy for me though. I know a lot of moms like to brag, but I actually do have the three most amazing kids in the world. We are very blessed. 🙂

      • June 4, 2014 2:46 pm

        Whoa. Totally weird coincidence but mine are ALSO the most amazing kids in the world. 😉

  3. June 24, 2014 6:11 pm

    I couldn’t not comment on this. I thought it was lovely from start to finish. 🙂

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