Tuesday, June 26, 2012
From a very early age, Rye seemed to have the "sixth sense." I remember one night in our Colorado home. Rye was about two. I was giving him a bath, he was playing in the water, I was leaning over the tub when he suddenly stopped playing, looked up and leaned to look around me, then smiled. I assumed Tara had walked into the bathroom. I turned around to find no one standing there. That's the first of many stories of Rye seemingly having a connection with a world that is intangible to most of us. I don't know who was there and frankly, it doesn't matter because they weren't there to see me.
I'm not an very religious person and am not in the practice of teaching my kids about things related to faith. So this next story stopped me in my tracks so to speak. Rye was about 4, I picked him up from his pre-school here in Columbia and we were about to turn left onto a busy Broadway. An ambulance was flying down Broadway, sirens and lights on. As it passed, Rye's finger pointed and followed the back of the ambulance and said, "look Dad, angels!"
The next example is probably the one that gets me the most. When my mom received her terminal cancer diagnosis, she began writing little quips, quotes and sage advice to carry me through the rest of my life. Quotes from Van Gogh, exerpts from letters, Kipling, Lord Byron and more. I took those pieces and glued them into this beautiful hand-crafted book that my cousin Suzanne made for me. It sets on an easel in my office. Rye picked it up a couple of years ago and was sitting on the floor looking through it. Kind of an odd thing to grab his attention as a child, no pictures, no words he can read, no color… but yet he looked at it intently for a while. He closed it suddenly, looked up and toward the window away from me and said, "he's your son?"
Who knows what all this means and one can rationalize these things and speak of coincidence and chance. I DO know, that on a random Saturday, he'll come flying down the stairs and exclaim, "my spidey sense tells me the ice cream man is coming!!!" (lo and behold, we'll hear the music and bells of the ice cream truck within minutes) I think that for all the time he spends "tuned out" there is a lot of time spent "tuned in" to something we can't. Maybe he has a medium. Maybe our minds think too hard. And maybe neither are true. Rye doesn't talk a lot, and when he does, a large percentage of it is a script from a movie, so when original thought is expressed, you listen.
I love the expression, "it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than speak and remove all doubt." So many people in this world yabber on and on and never really say anything, so when I think about Rye's lack of communication, I believe he subscribes to that thought. With his concrete thinking, why would you talk if you have nothing to say? So with this sixth sense, comes a responsibility to communicate things not many can. And I think he takes it seriously, to caution us, to comfort us, to tell us things we have no way of knowing.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
I married for love. The kind of love most people unfortunately don't find. It wasn't exactly instant or necessarily easy but the kind of love that grows from a commitment of mutual respect and understanding. In the end this love produces a fruit that is bountiful because there is a mystical connection that just works. It doesn't need an explanation it just connects because it is meant to be.
I am also lucky because I had the opportunity to grow up with a father who loves me unconditionally. A father who raised me to believe that I could be anybody I wanted to be and with the expectation that I could live my life knowing that as long as I tried my best and told him the truth he would support every endeavor. Adolescence proved to be a difficult commitment for me to my Father's rules, but fortunately he was patient and willing to support me through the disaster that was my teenage years!
I have been so lucky to love two men in my life. My father and now my husband. When Scott and I first met I was not concerned about what kind of father he would be. I was just happy because he was the kind of man who after three years of dating and (wanting a change of scenery) would open an atlas in a bar and move with me to the page we turned to! Yep that is how our love affair with one another and with Colorado started. We opened an atlas and took a chance.
I also am lucky enough to have married a man who moved from the complete freedom of opening an atlas to the absolute commitment of moving from a life full of easy going beautiful scenery to one of multiple therapy sessions in 90% humidity Missouri because it was best for our family.
Parenting is hard. Autism or not I can not imagine trying to do what I do without the love and support of my husband or my mom and dad. I want to wish a very Happy Father's Day to my wonderful husband Scott Shade and my incredible father Bill Johnson. I have learned so much from both of them. I am who I am today and our boys are who they are today because of them. I love you both! My Daddy and Rye and Wyatt's Daddy. I'm beyond lucky...I'm blessed.