As many of you know our oldest son is high-functioning Autistic. With this comes various therapies including physical therapy. A couple of weeks ago he started a new physical therapy that involves riding and taking care of horses. Last Saturday I had the privilege of taking him to his therapy. This is where I realized how blessed we really are. You see having a high-functioning Autistic child is hard, but it seems to me to be a little easier than those who are not as high-functioning.
As he and I were waiting for his turn there was another young lady (I want to say 16 or so) was waiting. She seemed to be high-functioning Autistic and pretty well "mainstreamed". I could see Levi being similar to her when he gets to her age. At this point Levi went back to his therapy while I waited in the waiting room.
The next child to come in was a 12 year old boy with his mom and two brothers. He was less functioning than Levi. He did not say a word and was definitely more "difficult" to handle than Levi. I looked at him and looked at his mother with admiration. Here was a family who had struggled with this young man but that did not change the amount of love shown to the boy or the amount of love he has for them. I said a quiet prayer of thanks for the struggles I have with Levi.
The last child I saw was a girl about the same age as Levi. I do not know what her affliction is. She was in a wheelchair, did not speak, and was wearing a bib. However, she had the biggest smile on her face. She was brought in by her mother and the love between the two was palpable. I was privileged to sit by the Mother as she moved her daughter in front of her and began to play with her. The play consisted of moving her arms back and forth and humming. The girl's smile and the sparkle in her eyes are something I will never forget. I wondered what kind of struggles she and her family have had because of her condition. I also pictured their home and the love that exists there that makes this girl so happy. Again I said a prayer of thanksgiving for my struggles.
This experience and this time of year made me remember the blessings I have. How blessed my family is and the great opportunities we have to struggle and grow. Levi's condition does make things hard, but the examples I saw in an hour on a Saturday morning have made me determined to make those struggles a positive and to increase the love in our home.