Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Why I Celebrate "Incapable"

Don't you remember that moment when you first held your child in your arms?  You cradle this new tiny treasure gently and hold him close to your cheek.  You laugh and cry at those precious newborn noises and something magical happens as he first reaches up to grasp your finger.  You imagine...you wonder how this young one will change the world.  In our naive way, we parents automatically wonder if this new human will make his mark in medicine or science or politics or entertainment or sport.

You look at that tiny person and love him completely.  You feel so privileged to share his journey.

Isaac is 15 and he is changing the world...but not in any way I could have ever allowed myself to imagine.  The journey that Isaac has led us on is completely different than any I was prepared for.  To many, Isaac would be judged as incapable.  His cognitive and developmental difficulties make aspirations of college or culturally approved career unlikely.  That is our reality.  I used to rally against any idea that Isaac was incapable of anything.  It insulted my heart that my son would be found lacking ability.

And then I started thinking....Isaac is incapable.

Isaac is incapable of prejudice.  He is not racist or classist or sexist.  He has no bias towards anyone but judges everyone who crosses his path on their own merits.

Isaac is incapable of hate.  It is a foreign concept to him.  He may not like the situation he is in...but nothing for Isaac is ever personal or vengeful.

Isaac is incapable of deceit.  He is 100% true to who he is all the time.  He never hides his emotions. You always know where you stand and how he feels about you.  A cloud descends when he is upset and his face fills with joy when he is happy.  His smile widens, he jumps excitedly and laughs loudly.

Isaac is incapable of self-pity.  He likes himself...a lot.  He knows what he likes and he enjoys doing it. Isaac knows who he likes and he enjoys surrounding himself with those people.  Isaac understands himself completely and thinks it odd that we don't.

In many ways, Isaac looks at us and thinks we're weird.  I think he's right.

So yeah, Isaac is incapable of so much.  I think of myself holding that new little one 15 years ago.  I remember my dreams of his occupation and relationships...and I think of what I got instead.

I have a son who judges every person as a unique individual, a child who is devoid of hate and deceit, a son who knows himself fully and celebrates who he is.

I got Isaac.  I got so much more than I could have ever dreamed.  I've got a lot to learn from my guy.

Let's rejoice in the personhood of those we love with autism.  Celebrate "incapable".

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