May 28, 2015
Are you there @Oprah? It’s me Toby.
Leah, my wife, explains to me that life is like a puzzle. We only get to see bits and pieces. God is the only one who knows what the finished puzzle will look like. With time, the tiny pieces start to make sense and give a better idea of the finished product. Looking back tiny pieces make more sense now.
I remember when Addison was born. The doctor’s first words were, “ Look at all that red hair.” When we took Addy in to see her pediatrician he told us, “Woo! She has a Red Headed temper too!” Some of my earliest memories of Addison include walking back and forth with her in a dark room over and over long into the night until she would fall asleep. Sleep was always the hardest for Addison. She would fight sleep for what felt like hours at a time. I would pace back and forth in our mud room. It was a closed in back porch area. She would quiet down when we would watch the TV show Scrubs. “I’m No Superman” playing over and over while we walked back and forth hoping to get a few hours sleep.
Looking back I have a better picture of the puzzle that was slowly coming into view. Addison has autism. The memories I have are big red flags now. Her “Red Headed Temper” was an early indicator of a child having a hard time adjusting to the world around them. Holding Addison tight and walking in a dark room, were indicators of sensory issues. She could not calm her body to let her sleep. Today, 13 years later she still loves watching Scrubs. The memory, the show, the theme song became part of a routine and comfort that she still holds on to today. Looking back, I didn’t get it. I could have done more. I should have seen the signs. That’s the thing about autism, Oprah, no matter how much you are doing. You always feel like you could do more. I know you may never write me back, but that’s not the point. Most days parents of kids with autism don’t need someone to tell them what to do. We just need someone to listen. You are a great listener @Oprah.
May the Force Be With You,