Tuesday, April 16, 2024

the most important letter


I won't ask, 'How are you?" I already know it's not good, so that's why I'm writing you. 

You think your life is over. You think your children will have a life of relentless pain. You wake up in the morning with an oversized pit of dread churning in your gut- realizing each morning that your actual life isn't just some weird bad dream. This is your new reality.

You feel weak. Confused. Angry. Terrified. Empty. Void. Dead on the inside. All the world's pretty colors were muted and nothing you knew as real and truth will ever be the same. You don't trust yourself, your insight, your stupid Mother's intuition. You think yours is broken. You think this is the end. 

This is the end of the way you see the world now, but that isn't such a bad thing. I can promise you one thing: with every end, comes the start of something, and this is your beginning of your new life. And although your life will be hard, it will also be amazing. When you are ready, you will open the door and walk through it. There is no other way. You will still be scared, it will still be hard, but you will do it. Acceptance is the gateway to happiness.

At around 16 months of age, you started the knowing. The knowing of what you feared all along- your baby Parker was going to follow in Greyson's (sometimes tippy toe) footsteps. Parker is autistic. You can't eat. You can't hope. You can't silver line this cloud. You can taste the anger. Your pleads and prayers to God stopped and turned into rage. WHY ME. WHY HIM. Not even questions, just statements. 

One day, you will be open enough to see WHY. But for now, just sit with me in your feelings. They are so real I can feel them too. It's ok to cry. I'm crying as I write this to you. 

Parker headed to his 1st Speech Therapy Appointment

Parker in Speech Therapy

Parker has been in Speech Therapy for a few months now. He doesn't say any words besides, "Go" and only if you say, "Ready, Set..." first. He is trying to learn how to point, but it's so hard. I see your face when you see kids younger than him out in the world doing it all on their own. You are amazed and bitter all at once. You wonder about his future. All you see is awful. Will he ever speak? Will he be happy? Will he "get" Holidays? Will he go to a regular school? Will he ever have a friend? Will he know math like Rainman? Will people make fun of him? 

You are exhausted. When you sleep, you hold this truth, so heavy. Life is hard and exhausting. It won't always be so difficult. Like Joan of Arc said, You were born to do this.

I want to tell you a story I witnessed today. A story so simple and so perfect, it felt like a dream. I saw your perfect Parker today. Life went forward so fast and he is now 13. He talks! The evaluations and assessments are still stamped with severe communication delay, but for the most part- you will only care about that when you read those damn evals. (You are a pro at it now). On paper Parker is not the best. It will all sound so scary and desolate. After those papers are read, sometimes a few times a year, you will put them in a binder and file them away. Then you lift your eyes from the paper Parker and words and see the real boy- the magical one that God brought into existence 13 years ago. The real Parker.

Trust me, YOU WILL BE AMAZED. My smile is huge as I tell you this. He is at school, and he is thriving. He carries a backpack and has an ipad to do work on just like all the other kids. He will be in a Special Education classroom- but it's ok. It's so much more amazing than you would ever expect it to be. He learns differently- so he has to be taught differently. So many of the things you conjure up as a worst case scenario aren't bad at all. Your perspective on what matters will remarkably shift. That isn't bad- it's a wondrous, incredible thing- to get the opportunity to view the world in a completely new way. Oh Momma, the best part- the most important part- Parker is happy (now we are both crying). HE'S HAPPY! He loves life. He is hilarious. He's creative. He's adventurous. The assessments aren't able to capture the magic of him at all. He falls in love with things like the movie The Titanic, or collecting VHS tapes,or creating crazy contraptions all over the house, and watching and making movies. 

Well today, this 13 year old Parker popped into a classroom I was substitute teaching in. I was so proud to know him. The kids didn't know my place in Parker's life, and I heard them say, I LOVE PARKER! Several echoed the sentiment. "Parker! Can I get a fist bump?" "Hi Parker!" One asked. "Parker, do you remember my name?" "William" Parker exclaimed. William made a fist and pulled it down exclaiming, "yessssss". Oh Momma, I wanted to cry, but I was just so dang happy, so I stood there and smiled instead. And then I told them, "Parker is my son!" I was so proud and so happy, and I didn't want him to be anything other than this kid in front of me who was lighting up the whole dang room.

So, don't worry. Life is going to be amazing still. I promise you. Because you will choose it to be. You just wait and see.

Future Chrissy

No comments:

Post a Comment