This past Sunday, October 12, 2014, was the fifth anniversary of J.J.’s diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I honestly wasn’t sure how to feel… I’m not sure I felt anything besides pure astonishment that five years has already passed since that nine hour day at Riley Children’s Hospital.
Since the diagnosis, my daily life has been filled with one reminder or another of the diagnosis — sometimes it is positive, and sometimes it is negative. There are phenomenally great days, and unbelievably bad days. I am grateful for how much progress J has made, yet I am fearful of what the future may hold for him.
The world in which we live is full of doubt, yet hopefulness in the face of such doubt. I don’t know what the rest of today holds for J…let alone 10 years from now when he will be a legal adult. He could look the Wide World in the eye and challenge it to hold him down. Or he could need assistance in one form or another for the rest of his life.
There is such uncertainty each and every day, that at times I find it insufferable.
J has provided me with such an incredible opportunity to grow not just as a mother, but as a human being, and to look at the world with wider eyes, more compassionate eyes, more loving eyes. I believe…I know it is because of him and the kind of child he is.
Today J stands up tall as an eight year old boy and reaches almost up to my shoulders.
Today he has whined and complained about his schoolwork and gotten angry when I insisted he had no choice in the matter. He sighed heavily at the thought of having to drink water before his meals. He has fought with his sister about where to sit on the couch, and he has fought with me about several things just as silly.
However, today J has also given countless hugs and kisses to Ava, Nathan, and I. Today he has cuddled close as we did our reading, and he has worked on writing a lovely and creative story. Today he has emphatically studied nutrition and insisted that he tell me all about it at least three times.
Today has been a roller coaster, as most days are.
I take the bad with the good and insist on remembering more of the good than the bad. Each day can be an exhausting challenge for Nathan and I as his parents, but it is also more rewarding than I could ever express when we think about where the three of us started on this journey. All three of us have come a long way, and we should all feel so very proud.
I know I am certainly so proud of my Buddy, especially…
He’s pretty darn amazing.
Photo Credit: Nathan Monk