I am raising a boy whose on the spectrum. He is becoming more than I ever dreamed of. More than I ever hoped for. More than I ever thought he would become. He is also doing it his way. Sometimes his ways are out of sight. We are all astound. Here is a boy that barely said a word at 3. A boy for whom meltdowns were all he knew. Until things changed. I still pinch myself as I have not really taken the time to truly uncover all we did in the beginning. And we did a lot.
If you told me back then that we would get to this place one day, I would not believe you. He was kicked out of his first school at age 2 after attending for 2 days. The odds were completely against us. My own child was kicked out of school before he could say his name. I still remember crying by myself that day wondering where to begin. I remember calling a helpline for special needs kids in Georgia that day too. The person on the other line had to have been an Angel. After briefly chatting with her calming me down, she asked what we both did for a living. I said I was a researcher and dad was a resident in neurology. Her response, I wouldn’t worry to much about your son then. I asked why. She said because we would both use our gifts for him and that’s more than most kids on the spectrum would have. Looking back, she was right. When we learnt through research that a drug for cancer had speech properties, my son was on it. When he had a series of nonstop laughing episode, and my husband remembered something about the brain and laughter, my son’s brain was observed via EEG which uncovered mini seizures while he slept. Our gifts were indeed useful for him.
Today at age seven, I keep pinching myself every time I have a heart to heart with him or watch as he reads a book. These days Dog man’s series are all he knows. All he is obsessed about. That he reads makes my heart swell. His ways are still forming, still making sense of this world, still stimming, still repeating things that make no sense, still involves play that makes no sense too, but all of it, all his ways are perfect by design. These days, I would not trade any of this for any sense of normalcy. Not with him. He is perfect by design and even when he tries, all his ways are good. It’s the smallest things with him, the hugs, the meltdowns too, all of them combine, remind me just how blessed we are as a family. To be in the midst of a child on the spectrum is a blessing. One that I am extremely thankful I got to witness with my own eyes. Today he is in a Christmas play in school. The boy who barely spoke at 2, was kicked out of school at 2 as well, is in a play at school at 7. His ways remain out of sight with great days and days with good tries. The sky is not a limit and I remain hopeful for what the future will bring his way.
We told our son that he is a bird. Free to fly far and wide as he chooses. His teacher told him he is terrific. Free to reach for space and beyond. Now I watch as birds reach for outer spaces. I watch as my son becomes a bird.
There he is. My son. My blessed son. His brother Olisa takes cares for him. And together they are blessed. I am blessed just reading this. The universe keeps opening and my son’s keep receiving. Keep blessed sons, blessed boys who are loved and ready to take on the world.
Simple words are all we need to touch each other. To feel, to wonder, to love all that makes us whole. I am learning the power of simple. The power of soft words, like velvet gently brushed across my skin. The power of inclusive words too that wrap us all together like a fuzzy blanket on a cold winter night. The power of memorable words, unforgettable ones that tell how sweet it is to be loved by you. The power of paradise words, all of them that speak of the bliss we all know truly exists in heaven. The power of loving words, living words too that help us all rise up on wings like eagles. The power of enlightening words, those that let you bloom where you are planted for your light was never meant to be hidden. The power of simple words are profound, easy, effortless, sincere, honest, open, direct, pure, comfortable, uncomplicated, coherent, just, straightforward, elementary, natural, undemanding, plain, innocent, real, and light. So too are the words through which my kids gifted me with this Thanksgiving. Simple words that are as warm as a hug from loved ones this season. Simple words that share all they are thankful for. Keep simple, like Happy Thanksgiving. I am happy and thankful for you all. I give thanks to you all. That’s all.
I like cool cuts. It’s a wholesome read for my girl, boys and I. For when black boys and black girls let their stars shine, no matter how hard the test, the world will be theirs and it will be awesome. Their cool cuts will lead the way too.
We started the day in church and ended it on a hayride across our village. We were covered in hay and my heart was full. This Halloween was fun and something I didn’t know my soul truly needed. For all the loss, for all the pain, for even all the heartache, it was simply glorious, I tell you, downright splendid to see our kids just be kids and happiness flow like waters that run deep. I wouldn’t trade this happy place for anything. This forever gift my children continually gift to me. Happy Halloween and may yours lead you to treats full of happiness.
My children give me permission to dream as I watch black birds fly across cloudy skies. Permission to win as we celebrate my Belle dominating sports today. Permission to write about our favorite things like Andy’s frozen custard or our favorite place, Drace Park. Permission to laugh about silly things like would you kneel or knit a hat (the idea of kneeling had us all laughing). Permission to sing, like just the two of us (Lotanna and I’s favorite song) and how we will make it because we tried. Permission to learn about spelling words like believe for my girl, retell for Boy 1 and mommy for Boy 2. Permission to sing of how this little light of ours will shine with no intentions of being hidden. Permission to speak up even when being brave. Permission to live, on my own terms and in my own way. Permission to be my best self, with keeping what matters. Permission to connect with what makes me whole, like them, their aura and vibrant personalities. Permission to create my own inner light, as I push through one keep at a time.
Since Fall refuses to start its cool, we took to the Park this sunny Sunday morning. Four children and I went for a walk at first. Then they ran to the playground, the bright yellow bars and obstacle courses. Then four children started swinging on swings. Just to be a child on swings is joy that keeps giving this bright sunny morning. Then the wind started to blow, this cool gentle breeze. Maple trees swayed as gentle as the breeze. While my children, kept going back and forth, swinging on swings. I’ll rather be here this morning, with my children swinging on swings.
My kids and I chased white butterflies this morning. We watched as they fluttered their wings and soared to new heights. We inched closer as the nestled on ivy-leaved morning glories. We sighed deeply as they gently kissed luscious green grass. We flicked our lens as they trampled through wild shrubs, until they found a place to rest their wings. The wind was friendly. So too were the skies this morning as we chased these butterflies.
I imagine this is love. To nestle in its divine glory. To feel the winds blow. To wonder it’s next move, it next resting place. To do so in splendor, a joyful splendor reserved for those who chase butterflies. For those who flutter your wings and fly to new glories, soar to new stories, of moments when butterflies and you are one. My kids and I are surrounded by love, which glides as gentle as these butterflies on a sunny morning. To know this love, to feel it’s warmth, as we run through shrubs, chasing butterflies, through lush grass, watching it soar, falling deeply into a divine grace, one our souls are so drunk with as we bask in our love for each other. My kids and I chased butterflies this morning. But truly we, chased our love. Keep holding onto it.