Our Journey Raising Two Children with Special Needs

This blog chronicles our life raising two children, Nicholas 14, diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome and Weston 17, diagnosed with Autism/Asperger's/ADHD. It's the ups, the downs, the joys, the sorrows and most importantly, the beauty of living a life less perfect, a life more meaningful.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Nick's Hopeful Vision and the Message from a Coke Truck

"Maybe we'll see a Coke truck," Nick said excitedly as we climb into the car and head out for his first day of school.

Coke trucks and semi-tractor trailers are Nick's most recent obsession. But today, I am thankful for these distractions and use them as a helpful tool to transport my son to his sixth grade premier.

"How many big rigs do you think we'll see on the highway?" I ask.

"ALOT!" Nick answers. We have barely left our driveway and he has already begun to search out his window for the mighty mobile monsters.

Nick is unusually calm as we negotiate this major transition form lazy summer days to the hustle and bustle of school time routine. My stomach starts to tighten and I begin to feel nauseous as I mourn the loss of our summer and its accompanying freedom. My palms start to sweat as I wonder what kind of chaotic mess this year will bring us. How many IEP's? How many visits to Children's?

Nicholas, on the other hand, is completely unaffected by the opening day event. He does not wallow in poignant reflection of the nostalgic past. He does not fear the future. He lives in the moment and this particular moment is all about counting trucks.

"Look Mummy!" he shouts and points to the oncoming traffic on the opposite side of the highway.

There, barrelling down the road in a vision of shining red and white splendor is, remarkably, a Coke truck. It is brand new and very big, it seems to sparkle in the sunlight as it moves by us seemingly in slow motion.

"Nicholas, you were right.,,we saw a Coke truck today!"

"Alriiiiight! I can't wait to tell Alex," he shouts with glee.

Suddenly, my nervous knots are gone. My fear of the coming year has vanished, magically vaporized by the simple sight of a red and white commercial vehicle.

I believe in spirit and an interconnectedness of all things.

I believe there are moments that occur in life, that speak to us. They communicate a thought, enforce an idea or alleviate a fear. For a split second these wordless moments change us and make us believe we have purpose and a meaning to our lives. It is as if we are being reminded, rather emphatically, that we are an important part of a much higher energy.

My son's prophetic vision combined with this truck's precisely timed transit has squelched my escalating anxiety. It is as if someone has bopped me on the head and said...."Hey asshole, what do I have to do to get you to listen to your son, to embrace the thoughts and feelings he expresses, to enjoy the moment and take pleasure in the simplest things?"

In an effort to respect the message, and its deliverer, I look at my son and say confidently,

"You know Nick, we're going to have a great year."

As we pull up to the school Nick is smiling.

and anxious to show Mr. D his new Dora backpacks.

For the first time in a long while, I feel hopeful once again.