Sammy's birthday is coming.Last year for the first time ever he was aware of his birthday and seemed to enjoy it. He kind of gets the concept of age and getting older. He knows a birthday means he picks his dinner for that day. Birthdays here are always bittersweet. It's hard not to be aware of where we should be.
Over the past year I have felt God working on me more than Sammy. I have felt him nudging me in directions I wasn't ready for. So much has changed in the last few years.
I spent a lot of time railing against autism and being so angry. I personified it and hated it. I was hurt and sad all the time. I felt like I was fighting for my son's life and because I was so busy fighting I disconnected from Sammy in ways I swore I never would. What I found was that the more I released my connection, the worse things got here. After a few really hard months where we considered hospitalization and medication, I stepped back. I looked around and I wasn't happy with what I saw in the mirror. I was so absorbed with his "issues" that I forgot he was a person. I forgot he was my baby, just like all the others. I forgot who he was outside the autism. I let autism consume him and me!
How could I let that happen? Wasn't this what I was fighting against?
I have never prayed so hard in my life as I did after that moment of realization. I cried bitterly hoping that my dear boy would forgive me. He of course did. I am still working on forgiving myself however.
What I see now is very different. I can't really put it into words in a way that makes sense yet. I have been trying to write this post for days now and it wouldn't take shape until today.
So who do I see when I look at my boy.
I see an almost 8 year old with fluffy blonde hair and blueberry eyes. He has a wonderful gap between his front teeth that makes me giggle when he smiles. I see a boy that is so strong and well built that each muscle has perfect definition. I see a boy who has learned to ride a bike and conquered (mostly) his fear of water. I see a boy who is learning to read and write. I see an amazing young man with a thousand possibilities that I didn't think existed for him. I see my boy, my sweet angel of a son, with the power of God in him, because he too, was fearfully and wonderfully made. I see a boy with potential and charisma and an absolutely wacky sense of humor. I see the gift God intended him to be, with autism. It is exactly who he is. Yes, Sammy is autistic, and blonde, and tall, and well built and amazing.
So his birthday will come this year and it will go. I may feel sad even though I try not to. It's OK, God's not done with me yet, thankfully.
there will still be days and times that I will rail against the issues. there will still be times where I fight and cry and kick and scream. I hope you all won't hold it against me. At least now the difference is...
Sam and I are on the same side.