Sunday, January 30, 2011
There are new years, and there are NEW YEARS...
January is almost over. (Seriously – where did it go?) I cannot believe it. It’s been a whirlwind of a month for two main reasons: Luke started at a new school, and Jeremy resigned from PepsiCo to start working on his own. I am really, really proud of Jeremy for this choice. Since August, he had been travelling a lot, and his new role will give him more flexibility to help with Luke’s new school schedule.
He recognizes letters on books, signs, etc. and says them. He has mastered upper case letters and is starting to identify lower case letters. He’s improving more and more at repeating words. Some of his semi-frequently repeated words are cow, ig (pig), uck (duck… not anything else!), car, ball, barn, sheep, app (apple) shoulder (yes, shoulder… as in head shoulder knees and toes), head… I think there are others, but these are the most frequent ones. We certainly have no idea what the future holds, and we know that these milestones that bring us such joy right now are but baby steps in the direction of his communicating at an age-appropriate level. But we have great hopes for his potential. I tell you one thing: he has already made a remarkable impact on the world around him. His parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and others who know him are better and deeply changed because of it. I feel that in my soul.
I have been reluctant to use the sentence “Luke is autistic.” Perhaps three months ago, that would have been because I was fighting that realization. Today, I dislike using it because I think it is a very limited definition of who my little boy is, and who he will become. I have begun to share Luke’s diagnosis with a few people lately, and often, the first words they say in response are, “I’m sorry.” It’s certainly a natural reaction to the sharing of a disease or disorder. I don’t begrudge anyone saying this, because it’s just kind of what you do, but we don’t feel like this story has a sad ending. I’ve called our process of receiving and accepting Luke’s diagnosis an odyssey. It has been a long journey, with many very challenging parts past, and more to come, I’m sure. But like all quests, we have been richly rewarded with wisdom and joy. Please don’t pity us. Luke is a happy boy in great health. He has a TON of people who love and take care of him. Jeremy and I have a ton of people who love and take care of us, too. And if you feel compelled to respond in some way, I’d love and appreciate your prayers, and even questions about how Luke’s doing… truly, you need not walk on eggshells around us! We’re doing okay. Really. That said, if you do ask, I’ll likely talk your ear off, because I’m so excited about what God has in store for our precious boy!
If you have read all of this, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I think I needed to write it far more than any of you needed to read it, but I appreciate it very much if you did. Have a great day, and a great February! My guess is that at the rate he’s progressing, by February 28, Luke will be working complex math problems and reading his way through the Harry Potter series. ; )
Thanks for listening, dear friends! I wish you a wonderful week!