The Little Things

I’m taking a little break from blogging about the perils of planning family dinners, to instead tell you about a magical moment that crept up on me quite unexpectedly this evening.

I’ll be brief.

Juggling craziness at work, running one son to an orthodontist appointment, another to a play date and squeezing in a much-needed trip to the grocery store left me fairly frazzled. By the time my husband got home from work, the last thing I wanted to do was accompany my special needs son to the high school for the 8th grade orientation night.

But the poor guy looked more wiped out than I did.

I just didn’t have the heart to ask if he could take our son to the high school so I could tend to my other pressing obligations. Instead, my excited/nervous son and I piled into the car, drove over and queued up for one of the rapidly disappearing parking spaces in the school’s vast lot.

Once inside, we were herded into the gym like so many cattle. I let my boy take the lead and find a spot in which he’d be comfortable.

And, as I sat there next to him in the crowded bleachers, pointing out the principal behind the podium and some of his classmates in the stands, his eyes grew wide trying to take it all in.

I settled back to listen to the same speech I’ve heard three times before and Christopher leaned forward to listen.

That’s when it hit me. Twelve years ago, I wish I knew I’d be here tonight, doing this with him.

Instead, twelve years ago, I was petrified, sitting across from a therapist who had just delivered the diagnosis of autism with about as much sensitivity as one would use to deliver a fast food order at a drive-through window.

But, I know now that my boy has busted beyond so many pre-conceived barriers that were set out before him and for that I am so very grateful. And proud.

When the first portion of the program concluded, he wanted to move on and check out all of the clubs and activities offered at the school. As we strolled by the tables lining the cafeteria, manned by real live high school students, he investigated those that interested him with a keen laser focus – just one of the super powers granted him by Asperger’s Syndrome.

Watching as he questioned the student reps about their programs and wave back at the peers who greeted him by name, I was glad I came.

This time, I know his future has no bounds.

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