Thursday, February 08, 2007
5 Alive!!! (Journal#55)
It's all about 5! Happy 5th Birthday Sam!
This is journal entry 55, it's Sam's 5th birthday, so I will honor him with 5 things he has given and inspired us with:
1. Sam has taught us how to accept everyone and love everyone for who they are. Even though I was a teacher for many years, I thought I knew everything about diversity, accepting others, working and respecting children of different abilities. But... I really didn't, until Sam taught me. He showed me that it is okay to learn differently, it is okay see life differently, it is okay to be you. And when you accept yourself, I have learned that accepting others comes even easier.
2. Sam has shown me that you need to take time for the little things in life. I am a "doer, gotta keep going, gotta get everything done, because you have to accomplish big" person! When you are like that, you forget to notice the little beautiful things in life. While Sam's incredible attention to detail can drive me crazy ( like when it is 30 below zero, and I just want to walk from our car into the store as quickly as possible, but he has to follow every little crack in the pavement or pick up every little icecicle along the way), it can remind you of the beauty life gives us. Perhaps it was our vacation to Yellowstone, that I really began to appreciate his ability to notice and find every little thing. I would be looking at the whole beautiful scenery on our travels, and it would be Sam that would stop me and pull me close to the ground to spot a little ant crawling up a beautiful flower growing along the path. It is the little things in life that help us get to the big things.
3. Sam has reminded me to take time to listen to the music. Again, teaching me to slow down and relax. Music has been Sam's thing since birth. Before we could ever understand one word from Sam, we always knew the tune of what he was humming. He can reproduce any sound (literally, including the grinding sound of our coffee machine) and any song after only hearing it once. Sometimes when he is in the middle of the worst melt down, I just throw on the IPod with some tunes (usually Backyardigans "Secret Agent"), and he completely changes and calms down (wish it worked every time). Many times, in any foul mood, he will turn it around as soon as he hears music. We all need to stop and listen more, and enjoy the music of life.
4. Sam has helped us accept autism. We are "at peace" with Autism, as Susan Senator so eloquently wrote about in her book, Making Peace with Autism. He has taught us that he is autism, he is autistic. It is a part of who he is. We can't hate Autism, because that would be hating a part of who he is.
5. Sam has given us 5 years of 4 L's. He has allowed us to love him unconditionally, to enjoy his laughter (even though we can't laugh with him), to continue learning about how he thinks and learns, and to live life fully.
We love you Silly Sam. Happy Birthday!
A Twist of Faith
As I said, Sam has taught us how to love even greater with acceptance like no other. No other, than like that of Christ's that is. Look up His greatest commandment again, remind yourself of what He calls us to do. For if all people upheld this scripture, it would be an easier place in this world to have Autism, to be a parent of an autistic child, to not worry about being judged by others on how we take care of our little boy in a world that can seem so overwhelming to him most of the time. John 13: 34-35