Monday, September 8, 2014

In The Morning Light

 I'll find you
in the morning light
Where birds sing
the break of dawn
Where the clock
Tick-tocks with
Our tiptoed socks
Warming our toes
On the cold tiled floor
All is quiet
Save for the beating
Of my heart
against yours
Your eyes crinkle
When you smile
I love you,
My little Prince
And you answer back
"I yuv yoo, Mama."
My heart soars...
And this is when
I am reminded 
Time and again
What my life is for.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Little Things

"Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. "
- Robert Brault.

Special needs parents know this too well. We live this quote every single day of our lives. We not only enjoy the "little things". We celebrate them. So here I am celebrating another "little thing". 

Lately Garret  has been naming his toys like this:

He picks up a toy, (star, hippo, airplane, etc.) brings it to me and says, "star" and does not stop until I stop what I'm doing and repeat after him.  With toys that he has difficulty naming, he does this:

He picks up 'octopus', brings it to me and says, "fa-yer" (flower). I say, "No Garret, Octopus." He says, "Fayer" again. And then says, "uh-tu-tu".

For hippo, he says, "doggy".

For airplane, he says "car". 

I wondered what made him name his toys this way. And then it came upon me that when you do look at the octopus, it does look like a flower with its tentacles spread all around. Come to think of it, the hippopotamus has four legs and some dogs do look like hippos. His toy airplane has wheels. Cars have wheels. Of course, it's a car. I could almost hear his voice say, "Duh, Mama."

How many victories to count in this story? Commenting. Imagination. Comparison.  Deduction? Where do I even begin?

Garret was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder on April 5, 2008.  In November 2011, Morgan, our youngest son was diagnosed with ASD as well. For the past six years, various challenges presented themselves to us, to say the least. But while the obstacles are many,  the blessings and milestones reached by my boys and myself are more numerous in our journey. Garret and Morgan have taught me more than I could ever teach them in this life. Courage, resilience, gratitude and a deeper appreciation of all the "small" things. 

As my boys have progressed  in countless ways, I have found the courage to find the light in every situation rather than dwell in the parts that Autism casts its shadow upon. It gets better. It really does. With the support and dedication of the "village" that raises my two boys--the teachers, therapists, family, friends near and even from other parts of the world, I realize how incredibly blessed my boys are, how blessed I am. And so with utmost gratitude and awe at the "little" things that my boys achieve, I do not hesitate to announce it to the entire world. Because we couldn't have come this far by ourselves. Perhaps, too,  the celebration of our "little" victories would inspire others who are in a similar journey to always keep doing the good work, keep fighting the good fight. 

With his charming eyes that just twinkle when he smiles, I have long ago decided to call Garret my little prince. Just like Antoine de Saint-Exupery's Little Prince, he teaches me to always look with my heart. Even when the dark days come, especially when the dark days come, it is only right to look at the world with the heart. And to grasp the purest joy I can find inside and to always choose the light. To choose to see and celebrate the milestones and not focus on the setbacks. To decide to marvel at how far we have come rather than furrow our brows at how far we still have to go. To appreciate the present rather than worry excessively about the uncertain future. 

I may call him our 'Little' prince but his courage to face the world everyday is great and the "little" milestones he reaches are nothing short of amazing. And I celebrate him and Morgan, our feisty king, every single day.

Why I call Morgan, our "Feisty King"? That will be for another post. Soon. 

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince