Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Beat of a Heart

Hi all. Miss us? Well, we can't have that now can we. Joking. I am sitting here watching Caleb meticulously craft a princess castle out of his legos while instructing Andrew on the finer points of being a mermaid. Yes, you heard that right Andrew is pretending to be a mermaid. It was on an episode of Dora the Explorer that they were watching earlier today.

Watching him play I smile to myself as I catch little trade mark quirks that have worked themselves into his funny little personality. I see his love of books and stories of all genres and nationalities and his meticulous perusal of them, a quality he inherits from his Aunt Kat. She has taught him to always ask questions, even more so than I have. His contagious excitement at any and all new discoveries, free enjoyment of all new things, and his free laugh are reminiscent of his Aunt Lauren. His innate love of football and joyous cries of "ROLL TIDE" are all his Auntie Bethany. I see the quiet way he takes in all of his surroundings and the fierce way he protects all he loves and it reminds me so very much of his Aunt Kelli. All I can do here is smile.

It brings me back to his appointment in March where I sat across from his psychologist as she observed him and asked her questions. Nearing the end of the appointment she looked at me and said that she had never met someone quite like Caleb and went on to tell me that he was "an amazingly well adapted little boy considering his problems and his disability". I smiled at her and gave her the only answer I could. "He has an amazing family."

So, tonight, I thought I would help you get to know him a little bit better by introducing you to some very important people in Caleb's world.

First I want to introduce you to his Auntie Bethany.

Boy does he love her! She has been one of the best friends I could have ever asked for. She is funny, smart, and has always hugged and kissed him coming and going. Somewhere along the way she took our little Tennessee fan and turned him into an Alabama fan. Now after every touchdown he shouts. "ROLL TIDE". Well done B.

Next up. I want to introduce you to his Aunt Kelli.

She is a pretty special lady. When I met her I was mousy, quiet, and never questioned anything. She not only taught me to be a better and stronger version of myself, she has turned into a well of strength and information. She has been a strong hold in the midst of the craziness that has been our world the past three years. From her Caleb has learned to quietly take stock of anything and everything. He has become an even fiercer protector of those he loves and his people and we owe that in part to this lovely lady right here.

Next up is his Aunt Lauren.

There are hardly words for this amazing lady right here. She has been his fiercest protecter, his best friend, my best friend, and a source of all things fun. When Halloween was thought to be ruined, she brought herself all the way from Maryland to make it special for him. When his birthday was in trouble, she again got in her car and drove all the way down to make it special for him. She loved him, spoiled him, encouraged him, and carefully fostered an innate sense of fun and laughter in him. She has been there unfailingly for us and for him since the day she entered his life a little shy of his second birthday. She has brought so much joy and laughter and fun to us and he shows us pieces of it every day.

Lastly I want you to meet my very best friend in the entire world. Meet Caleb's Aunt Kat, or Kit Kat as he called her before he learned the word Aunt.

I was pregnant with Caleb here. Around 27 weeks I think. She came to visit me and to strong arm my husband into cleaning the kitchen. Yes that is as funny as it sounds but that is a story for another time. Here is another picture for you.

His Aunt Kat is one person in his world that you do not ever mess with. He can tell when she is mad, sad, scared, upset, and even when she is sick. Sound extraordinary doesn't it. You should see it in person. These two are two peas in a pod. She calls him her little evil genius and he tells everyone he meets precisely that. She has loved him from the second of his conception and has been a source of strength for me every single  second of his life. She has been my very best friend in the entire world and I am proud to call her my sister. She has fostered Caleb's love for literature and stories as well as his curious nature. She is one of his fiercest protectors, his biggest cheerleader, and his best friend.

So after "meeting" these amazing people, I hope you can understand a little bit better the amazing little dynamo that is Caleb. He is blessed to have them, as am I. They all work to keep his little world moving and foster and encourage his growth.

Now for our Autism fact of the day. Autism has no single cause.

Think about that one for a while and search out your own bits of info. It is a fascinating world.

Until next time,

One very tired mommy