We had dreams for our baby boy, like most first time parents do. But then autism snuck up and stole those dreams away. That’s how it felt at the time, anyway. I remember going to the ball fields when he was about four years old because we had signed him up to play in a special needs league. We were walking through the park and everywhere I looked there were “typical” Little Leaguers and I just broke. (His diagnosis was fresh and my emotions were raw.) I wanted that for my son…the teamwork, the friendship, the “normalcy.” It was a really hard time for me; accepting and adjusting to our new normal. Fast forward 11 years and things are much easier. I wouldn’t say that time heals, but it certainly helps.
Now that baby boy of ours isn’t so much of a baby anymore. As a matter of fact, he’s taller than me and he has a mustache and he sounds like a grown man. Oh, and he says he’s ready for a girlfriend. Stop. Just stop. I’m not ready for this, y’all! I mean, it’s sweet and cute but he is such a tender hearted boy. And innocent. He’s so innocent. He tells me, and anyone who asks, “I can’t wait to get married and start to have kids.” In his mind you find a girlfriend, get married, and have babies. There’s no dating around, no falling in and out of love, no heartbreak. It’s precious but I’m not sure it can be reality.
Okay, let me get to the point of the story here. The other night he went to his first ever dance. He was nervous. You know why? Because he wanted to dance with a girl. We talked about how to ask someone to dance and my husband and I demonstrated how to actually dance. (We got a couple of eye rolls and then the kids left the room. Turds. lol) We got there and he was so excited that he couldn’t sit still. He walked around and stimmed every now and then. At a table right behind us was a group of high school kids who were volunteering at the dance. They were cutting up and laughing and it threw me right back to that time at the ball fields. It took everything in me to hold the tears back. Pathetic, I know. But my heart was breaking all over again, y’all.
So very proud
A little bit later I noticed a girl dancing in a group so I told Cade to go over there and dance with her. He stood next to her and I could tell from across the room just how nervous he was. She was sweet, though, and talked to him and encouraged him to dance. So he did. And my momma heart just about burst. I was totally “that mom,” too. I kept trying to sneak and get pictures without them noticing and my husband was like, “Just sit down, Kristin.” lol He got down, y’all. He did the Cha Cha Slide, the YMCA, and the Macarena. It was awesome! And the best part…he came back to our table and said, “Mom, I danced with a girl! I think I might marry her.” Heart. Explosion. And laughter. Lots of happy laughter. 🙂