I am looking out from the 10th floor office that we occupy and I see the green trees, buildings off in the distance, airport control towers, and cars...hundreds and hundreds of cars. Sam used to love lining up our matchbox cars in color coordinated groupings. I would try and make vroom-vroom noises and get him to laugh. He would patiently wait for me to stop acting like a child and put the cars back in their place. I would do this again and it would make him frustrated. Each car had a specific place. I would snap a photo and save it to see if he would place the cars in the same groupings, in the same order, with the exact same spacing between them the next time. A few weeks later we would do this again and I would match the photographs up on my computer...they were the same every time. That was seven years ago.
Today, we talk about the cute girls he is friends with, how to interact with the guys he is in class with or attending summer camp with. We treat acne, deal with the pre-teen issues, we talk guy stuff and life stuff. He will always be my little man even though he is now 5 foot 3 3/4 inches tall and wears a size 11 in men's shoes. He is taller than his mom. When I hugged Angie goodbye this morning he ran up and said, "Give me some of that. Group hug! Everybody in." Life on the spectrum has changed but we still live life on the spectrum. Sam loves having Asperger's and he reminds me of this every so often. This weekend he told me, "Dad, I love having Asperger's because I can constantly be in my world and no one else knows it. I run the show, everyone is my friend, there are no babies crying and I have an important job." I am reminded of God's constant and consistent love for us. His unwavering gift of forgiveness and His constant companionship. I am humbled because I am not worthy of the grace He has given me. I try to show the same grace and mercy to my children but I know I fall short. I can only hope that my mistakes, my inadequacies, my shortcomings do not harm the children he has entrusted me to raise.
As the cars travel by below my window, I find myself hoping that one day Sam will be driving down the street, heading home from work to his family. It is my hope that he will fully grasp the freedom that so many have fought for so that he can chase his American dream down.