Friday, September 20, 2013


In our new surroundings while the Baylor Autism Resource Center works hard on a delayed relocation, Richie asked to play with my phone.  Usually I tell him yes, but to please not take a thousand pictures.

Yeah, he didn't take a thousand, but he did take about fifteen or twenty.  Here are a few of my favorites:

First, the staircase through the glass-and-metal railing.

The tables that are mercifully placed in the waiting area... or study area, I suppose.  

The little ledge by the huge window where they love to sit and look out on the Baylor campus.  Oh, and my foot. 

Then he said he wanted to take a picture of his sissy... 

... then the trash can.

And my personal favorite, the five-year-old's selfie.  

Just look at that sweet face!  

I started to delete these photos from my phone, shaking my head and giggling a little at the inanimate objects of his attention.  Then I looked again, and had to stick them in something for posterity.  

This is his perspective.  The closest thing we can get to seeing through his eyes.  

Richie, as far as we know, is neurotypical.  No spectrummy issues here.  He does describe things to us, how he feels, what he likes. And he has the same "nothing" answer when I pick him up from school and ask what he did today.  But even with that, with his pictures, and knowing him as well as parents do, we still don't know what it's like to be Richie.  

Every day, we pedal through keeping schedules, shuttling the kids and ourselves here and there, signing forms, paying bills, taking care of this and that, and it's so easy to forget them... and how they're seeing things.  

Do they see how much we love them? 

Do they see us love each other? 

Do they see us love people outside our home? 

Do they see us say we're sorry to each other as loudly as we said the things we're sorry for? 

How does a day look through their eyes?  

I wish I had a magic answer, but they closest I can get is to remind myself.  They need to hear that we love them, but they need to see it.  They need to hear that we don't talk to people rudely, but they also need to see us speak kindly, even when we think no one is looking.  And when we catch ourselves... or they catch us... in rudeness, unkindness, or flat-out thoughtless meanness, they need to see us admit we've been wrong.  

They need to see grace and mercy in our actions, not just to others, but to them.  And boy, is that hard sometimes. 

Thanks be to God for his gift of grace and mercy. 

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