I’ve found it very difficult to protect my heart when it’s beating outside of my body. These days it’s running around in the form of little sandy-haired, blue-eyed kids, in such vulnerable form.
I’ve wanted to protect these two from the Big Bad World since the moment I met them. Most of the time, my boy’s adventurous spirit would get in the way of the bubble wrapped life I had in mind for him.
I wasn’t ready for fearless. I wasn’t ready for vulnerable. I wasn’t ready for autism.
How will I protect him now? Will he be OK?
Will he ever talk? Attend school? Be bullied on the playground? Will he have a job? Drive? Live independently? Fall in love? And commence the spiral to nowhere.
As parents, we never want our children to feel pain and sadness. Hunger or cold. Lost or confused. It tears me up from the inside out when I look into my boy’s eyes and see how confused and frustrated he can become.
I remember a moment years ago when, during one of his meltdowns, his 2-year-old little sister hugged him and would not let go. Eventually he started laughing because it became a game to try and get her off him.
I noticed something that day. The way she looked at him. It was simple and unconditional adoration. In her eyes, he isn’t “different”. He is her big brother. Her hero. Her person.
I pray that she will always see him in that same light. As time passes, the weight of his world will inevitably impact hers more. New challenges will arise, they both will grow and change, but oh, how I hope that their unconditional love remains the same.
My children are both unique and made for one another. I can’t catch them every time they fall, but I can teach them how to help one another back up. To comfort one another. To laugh together.
They have shown us fearless. They have taught us how to find comfort in vulnerability.
My son has a phenomenal tribe of family, friends, doctors, teachers, therapists, specialists, and peers to help raise him up as high as he can go.
And he has her.
So just like that, I had all the answers to that pesky spiral to nowhere:
He’s going to be amazing.
They both are.