"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown

"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Logan the (Bigger) Little Giant

I think I knew before I knew about Eli. Even when Dr. T told me she wanted to evaluate our little giant, I knew.

So when the same doctor who leaned forward to give me the diagnosis for Eli, leaned forward again while Logan sat waiting beside me, the tears were few. I knew it for Logan. I didn't know it for Eli. 

We weren’t going to tell you. We weren’t going to put it out there.

It feels different when they are older. When their worlds are different. More complicated. More worries. 

Will someone bully my child?  Will someone write him off? 

Will he feel different? 

Everyday when Logan walks to meet me in the truck at school pick up, I watch him in my mirror. He almost always walks the slowest. Looking down at the ground. He’s not sad, not sulking. He is just walking at his pace. When you look at his face you might notice. 

He’s talking to himself. 

Making faces, sometimes moving his hands. But definitely talking to himself. Sometimes he’s acting something out and sometimes it’s like you can see the wheels turning, thinking through something big. His hands usually turn a bit when that’s happening.  I’m sure no one notices as much as I do (just a kid walking a bit slow). At first it made me so worried for him … about what people would think. 

Now I just enjoy watching. 

It’s called a “spectrum disorder”. It is such a massive spectrum. Eli … Eli’s made its presence known like a lion. So strongly, so suddenly, there it was. My kiddo … my kiddo banging his head until bruises showed through his white hair. And sleep! How can a child suddenly not sleep? I don’t mean changing patterns or losing a nap. I mean to truly not sleep for four straight days. It came like a storm and it changed our world. 

He changed our world. 

But Logan. 

Logan’s was as a lamb. There were little things, subtle. Markers that were noticed but so very small. He liked other children but was entirely content alone. He was always thinking. Always, always thinking. Even when he wasn’t speaking much. You could see it in his eyes. Always working through something. You may not notice at first that he stares past you when he talks to you. He looks right at you at first and then his gaze moves beyond you. He keeps talking, continues listening, but he isn’t looking at you.

As he aged we saw more and more how he struggles with sarcasm and jokes and grey-areas. He deals in absolutes and facts (or what he perceives to be fact) and black and white. He can remember the most random fact about an animal but forget your name after knowing you for a year. One day he stood in the kitchen for far too long because he couldn’t remember what the refrigerator was.

He has very little understanding of personal space. He struggles to regulate the volume to his voice. 

He has a hard time holding a pencil because his senses don’t work quite the same way as most. He wears out easily because his core isn’t as strong as most. He is intensely afraid of darkness and he has the hardest time making his brain go to sleep.

"It seems that for success in science or art a dash of autism is essential."
Hans Asperger

That’s Logan
That’s our kiddo

He sees our world in a different way. Our complicated, difficult, scary world … he sees that in a way I cannot imagine. Because his mind doesn’t sleep. His ideas don’t rest. 

My heart worries for him because he is my kiddo. One day someone else is going to notice that he is walking slow because he is talking to himself. One day someone is going to see that he’s having a harder time gripping his pencil or that he still struggles with naming letters individually. One day someone is going to notice that he wandered around the playground in a circle for the entire recess or that he yells or breathes heavily if you don’t let him finish his thought.

I know one day someone will notice. I know one day some other child is going to say something that isn’t kind about it. I know that day will come. 

Whenever it does we are going to walk him through it and love him through it and build him through it because different is not wrong. 

Different is what makes break-throughs in technology. Different is what creates our greatest art. Different is what cures diseases and defies odds and makes the world a better place. Different is what creates, what builds, what heals, what changes. 

Different is what changes the world.  

Different is a gift.

These kiddos are gifts. 

Little giants balancing two worlds miles upon miles apart. How much strength it must take. How strong they must be. 

How grateful I am to be their mom.