I remember the summer of 2012 I sat on a beach in California watching you.
You were staring at the waves as they rolled and crashed into the sandy shore. You had turned 3 that day, and we were celebrating your life by spending time doing something we don't get to do on a regular basis living here in Utah.
You loved the beach. You loved the water and the sand and the waves. You were fearless, no sense of hesitation as you stood there taking in the sights, sounds, and smells. Seagulls were everywhere, but you didn't notice them. All you saw were the waves, and that was more than enough to keep your attention.
I have always felt you were different from other kids, and those differences were never bad differences. In fact, they were things that made you unique, special, and precious. You see things so differently and take in the world the way only your brain can. I sometimes wish I could be a fly on the wall inside your mind...you are just so funny in how you express your thoughts. You make us laugh, without even trying.
This past Monday, Dad and I spent some time with the psychiatrist going over the evaluation you had just completed. Nothing she told us was new, but I was anxious because I just needed to hear her say the word, to make it official in the eyes of the insurance company...to create a paper trail, if you will...
Most parents probably recoil at that word, but not us. We embrace it because it's just a word; a label, that somewhat describes your differences, but not truly. Every child on the spectrum is so so different, but, this was a necessary step we had to take to begin the journey of ABA therapy, which we believe you fully need right now; WE need it.
It's time to start being able to process and communicate in a way that benefits you and helps you to thrive. The goal as your parents is for us to learn how to communicate with you, to help you succeed in whatever capacity you can in this life, and to make sure we are setting you up for success.
I personally feel that we have done that all along. You have come so far in these last 5 years! You are an amazing little boy who has taught me so much about life and how to have more patience and understanding. I will admit, I am not always great at the patience part, but I do try. I try to make you feel supported and loved, because you.are.so.loved, Connor.
This year you turn 8 and I can hardly wrap my mind around that. It feels like yesterday we were on that beach celebrating your 3 years of life. I couldn't have known what would come from all of the help and intervention we have been blessed with, and even now I find it hard to look too far into the future without becoming overwhelmed. One day at a time. Together we will make sure you are happy and healthy and thriving.
Here's to this beautiful and uncharted journey that we will now begin together.