Friday, June 12, 2009

Kids Say the Funniest Things....

It's strange to me to hear the debate about abortion. In my younger days, I considered myself "Pro-Choice" although I am a Christian. I guess I didn't understand fully the responsibility placed on me by my faith in God and expected of me by God. I didn't understand the RELATIONSHIP I had to God and with God. As I have grown older and have grown in my faith, I have come to realize that one doesn't leave one's faith "at the door" of a church on a Sunday afternoon and pick it back up the next time one returns. I do realize, however; that many people do this. This is a sad thing but it is true.
God expects us to live our lives according to His word. We walk the walk just as we talk the talk. We are expected to put action to the Word. Literally.

With that said, it's funny how life's twists and turns take us places we never dreamed we would go. At a point in my life when my two children were getting old enough to do things on their own; one was off to college and the other was nine years old, I felt freedom was returning to my life. No more "babysitting" for me. I could finally go shopping on my own, go to lunch with friends, travel and was looking forward to the possibilities of the future.

That was when Will arrived. He was just ten days old and my husband and I were having a "normal, quiet Saturday afternoon" the daughter was in the pool with her little friends and here comes this little baby. He was just going to visit for a couple of weeks. Never had even had a bath in his life yet. My daughter and I got him ready for his very first bath (in the kitchen sink, of course), we had no baby things but that did not deter us. And we had a ball. By the time we were done; we were just gooing and baby-talking and loving all over this child. I tried to hand him to my husband who quickly said, "no, do not hand that kid to, don't...well, okay. Just for a minute." About an hour later, hubby still sits with him in his lap in the lazyboy recliner and he's under the spell. We're done for. We knew we were in trouble then.

Will stayed with us for a couple of months, his mother coming back every now and then. She was not stable and we knew things were not going to be good. This was not a good situation. By that time, we also knew that Will was not well. Our pediatrician suspected that he had a condition that we would come to know very well; Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. This is the leading cause of mental retardation and birth defects. It is 100% preventable and is caused by maternal consumption of alcohol during pregnancy. As things turned out, Will stayed with us and for four years our family hung in limbo while the court system decided whether he would stay with us or go to his mother. In the end, he stayed with us. Will is now 12 and he will celebrate his 13th birthday next week. Our life has never been the same since and did it ever change.

I don't accept abortion because of birth defects at all. Will has punctuated that for me. He truly is a joyous child. We were told he would never read, write or talk. Well, he talks he reads and he writes. He is slow, and instead of being in the 7th grade this year, he is doing work on the 5th grade level. And, he may never progress past this level. He has constantly been in therapy; physical, speech, you name it; he's had it. Medications? Yep, he has those too. He has some serious heart defects as well. But he is so smart in a "different" way. It's sort of like living with "Rainman". I've been guilty, in my moments of meltdown, of saying if I have to live with Rainman, then I want the soundtrack, too. That's terrible, I know.

This blog is meant to be a tribute to Will and to the joy he has brought into so many people's lives. Words cannot describe him appropriately. His world is so simple. He will never be frustrated with the things that haunt typical people in this world today. Isn't that a blessing? How I wish I could be a part of his world, just for a day sometimes. His outlook is so simplistic and wonderful. And so truthful. This world is so cruel and hard. There is no way to bring the two together. He doesn't understand why he is different, why he can't be a policeman when he grows up or a fireman. He doesn't understand why he probably won't be able to drive a fancy sports car, or drive at all. He thinks the bank gives us money. He doesn't understand the concept of money but he can play the guitar like nobody's business. He can tell anyone anything about birds they ever wanted to know (and stuff they probably never wanted to know). And, he knows where every bird's nest is in every tree in this neighborhood. He loves Science and loves to watch Animal Planet and National Geographic. He doesn't care about Disney World (he's been there) and the entire time, he pointed out every bird's nest in every tree and bush while he was there. Mickey Mouse does not impress Will. Monster trucks do.

Will wonders what will happen to him when we get old. His sister says she will take care of him. He says he will live with her and will babysit her children. He says, he will take them to Chuckie Cheese "where a kid can be a kid, Mom". I just cry. What will happen to my baby? This child who has to have everything the same, every way. The same fork, the same spoon and the same bowl and plate. He still sleeps with the same blanket he used the first day he came to our home. It was the only blanket we had for a baby in our house; my older daughter's "church" blanket that I had put up to save for her children. It is pink (or was) with satin binding (it did). He calls it "silky" and he will NOT go anywhere without it. I can't wash and dry it without him sitting in front of the washer and dryer to wait for it. I wouldn't dare take it away from it. Over the years, it has gotten smaller and smaller and we've patched it and stuck it together. It's on it's last "legs". If he were a typical child, we never would've let him keep it. But, he is on the autism spectrum and he has a "tactile" thing and he loves to rub it. I know this may sound strange to someone who doesn't experience this but believe me, we would drive 100 miles to go back for silky. Which reminds me, we drive the same path to go to the grocery store, to granny's house and anywhere we go. If we don't, Will says "this is not the way we go to...." and we all know what comes next... We do not deviate. We learned a long time ago, trying to change Will is impossible. Better to stay with the program.

With all of this said, the thing I wanted to say was that Will says his heart belongs to Jesus. He just said that one day out of the blue. I said, "Ok, Will". As he has gotten older, he has never given us any trouble and has been a great child. Recently, he has gotten lazy and his chore is to feed "his" cats. He will tell me he has fed them when really, he hasn't. I told him recently that Jesus doesn't take liars to heaven. He cried. He cried really big tears and he was very, very sad. But that's true and I'm not going to lie to him. We talked about how much Jesus loved him and that Jesus would always forgive him for that but he didn't need to lie to anyone about anything. So, I decided to talk to him about the Ten Commandments. He can't really understand certain "concepts" so I called them the "ten big no-nos". So we went through them, one by one. When we were done, he was very quiet. He asked some questions about them. Then he looked at me and said, "Mom, there sure are a lot of thou-shalt nots".

Very simple, direct, and true. That's Will. Yes, there are a lot of "thou shalt nots". And we all have to abide by them. But we can do it. And if Will can do it, anyone can do it. It is important to Will and it should be important to everyone. The truth comes out of the mouth of babes.....

I know this blog is long. But I hope that anyone who has taken the time to read it will get the message here. The smallest among us may be the most wise yet the most overlooked in society at times. Don't overlook what you may think is unimportant in your life. Never think that you have it all figured out; just when you do, things will change in a blink of an eye. Life is funny like that.

God sent Will into my life. And I truly have God's Will. He is a blessing.

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