October 20, 2013
“Because You Love Me”
I am currently between careers, having spent the last ten years working with my kids after having taught in elementary school for a glorious dozen. Now that my last child has entered full-day school (and believe me, love my kids, but as a good friend used to say, “the store is closed”) I find I’m in a “tween” stage, caught between reflecting on where I’ve been professionally, and projecting where I’d like to be down the road. I’m taking somewhat of a “breather year” as I figure out what Mommy would like to do next, and as such I have the luxury of volunteering in my son’s school, and am able to work with an extremely vibrant PTA.
The other week I had the opportunity to speak to Zach’s entire school about a number of literacy programs the energetic Literacy League has created for the current school year, and as I began my speech I could see Zachary up on his knees in the audience, face rapt, focusing on my every word (I like to think he was cheering me on). After school that day I asked him why he thought I’d made my “appearance” that morning, and he casually responded with “because you love me,” which is my standard response any time he asks me why I’ve done something for him.
I had to smile at hearing my words parroted back to me, felt compelled to tell him he’s right, but tell him why I love him too. There are too many reasons to encompass why I adore him in one blog post (much less one blog), but here are just a few that I need to share with him before my musings will embarrass him completely (and those days are drawing near, believe me).
Because your gap-toothed grin illuminates a room.
Because your unique world-view challenges all my preconceptions of how things really are.
Because you love telling people your brother has a lot of autism, and because you’re more than okay with it.
Because you can remember every character from six Star Wars movies without hesitation, and whether or not they used the Force for good.
Because sometimes you bestow kisses upon me for no discernible reason whatsoever.
Because you feel your type of autism has brought you innumerable gifts.
Because your very presence in this world shatters people’s preconceptions about autism.
Because you believe that being different is okay.
Because if you want something there is no challenge too large for you to overcome to acquire it.
Because you love the beach and chocolate too.
Because your tenacity of spirit engenders a huge level of respect from your grateful and awe-struck mother.
Because when you tell people you love them you often tell them why.
Because (most of the time) you treat those around you the way you want to be treated yourself.
Because the myriad of questions you ask me daily are fabulous (thank God for Google).
Because you make me want to be my best self.
Because sometimes you make me laugh so hard I cry.
Because every single day you inspire me to try to make the world a better place.
Because I love you with all of my heart, and all of my soul (okay, that one’s gratuitous, but it’s a good place to end).
I love you Zach, all the way around the world and back.