.it's been four years since I held that little man in my arms the first time as "i can only imagine" played. i was blissfully unaware of what would come. i simply held him and whispered the lyrics to him. My husband and I both with tears in our eyes. slow smiles and wriggly fingers and legs those first few months. he was so wonderful.
the first 10months. he seemed so normal. so perfect. he never looked at me when he nursed. he didn't recognize himself in the mirror. but he smiled. he could smile and light up the room. so what if most of the time he was smiling at the fan or the light. he was smiling. he crawled and climbed and played. yeah he lined things up but all kids do that...right?
months and years passed and time slowly stood still for us. a dream for some. then again not so much. I looked at my baby and wondered what I was doing wrong. By 2 he was so aloof I could barely get his attention. he wouldn't hug me or talk. in fact by 2 he said 3 words. I figured he was a late talker. we dealt with his allergies. I thought it was because I was working too much even though he was with me at work. I made excuses i lied to myself and everyone else. but it was getting worse. he could play with trucks and dress himself. he could stack 15 blocks in a tower and stand on his head. he could even do a summer salt. that was exceptional... wasn't it? I cried most nights and made my heart feel better by telling myself the things he COULD do were more important than the ones he COULDN'T.
he was diagnosed this December with autism. this unfair,unfailing thief that stole my baby and my dream for him away in the night. autism took my son while I sat there watching. nothing could save him or protect him. Not for a moment. I sat in that doctor's office those words bouncing in my ears. autism...autism... "wait, your saying he is AUTISTIC?" i couldn't wrap my head around it. I couldn't understand. was he talking about the right child? "we are talking about Sam Chagnon right?" I asked and the doctor handed me the tissues and I burst into tears. 10,000 tears I cried over that day, week, month...
but then I got mad! I decided it was time to fight for my son. and i haven't stopped yet. 4 hours of speech a day at home from me. hours of OT and sensory work. repeating everything. thousands of dollars and millions of moments stolen that i refused to give up without a fight. it was slow. we had words and then sentences. and then he said I love you. it changed in that moment. he still may have tough days. he still may lash out and be out of control sometimes. he may still make me sad and cause people to judge me.
this is a slow race. every step counts. were moving and its getting better... after all he's come a long way. the race is far from over, but I think we may have passed that first mile
happy birthday little man. you amaze and delight me. I love you so very much