Bedtime is my most enjoyable maternal interaction of the day. It’s a time when Peter is comfortable enough in his routine to allow himself to relax and we have the most interesting “conversations”. Tonight we counted to twenty in Spanish and English, after I did funny dances all over his room. Peter laughed and requested “More Mommy shake it like a Polaroid picture”. Last March he didn’t even know the word Mommy (or for that matter display such great taste in hip-hop)!
Yes, it’s our anniversary. A year ago today we arrived in Chapel Hill, with little more than the hope that it must be “better” that what we left behind. I suppose it was a pilgrimage of faith that turned into destiny, propelled by a healthy dose of naivete, and a splash of idealism (my trademark). We certainly couldn’t have known that less than two short months later our boy would be diagnosed with Autism, and we’d be positioned perfectly in one of the leading research communities in the world.
What amazes me most is how, somehow, in such a short period of time Autism has gone from something I knew very little about to being the crossroad for so many different avenues in life.
There are times that I worry that it will define us, that Autism will somehow envelope our family, and we’ll forget that it’s just one component of our lives. Or that the awareness and advocacy mission I’m on will somehow become my, and eventually, Peter’s identity. For today, however, I’m reveling in the enormous successes of the past year. After all, aren’t our successes what ultimately define us?
I’m thinking that tomorrow at bedtime, after I amuse Peter with the Electric Slide, we’ll be working on counting to twenty “en Francais”.