The Gift of a Gifted Child

Pardon me while get all mushy and sentimental on you. I might even brag some, okay a lot...but if I boast, I boast in the Lord.

My son Eddie turns 14 today, August the two. Like anyone about to have a child, I had no clue that everything I thought I knew about life, love and the pursuit of happiness, would be turned upside down once he came into my life.

For those of you who don't know it, my son Eddie is mildly autistic. Asperger's Syndrome they call it. He's also bi-polar and diagnosed as ADD. Yep. It's a lot to have on your plate, but don't throw a pity party for us yet. He's one amazing kid. When Eddie was in first grade he was tested for the Gifted and Talented program at his school and Eddie scored off the charts in each area. Just an aside, this to me is an unfair label, as all God's children are gifted and/or talented. His reading level and his level of comprehension were as high as a sixth grader's. His abstract thinking tested higher than that, and his IQ level was genius. SO needless to say he made it in. (Uh, if it's needless to say, why do we say it?) We were so excited for him. I mean, we always knew he was very smart but with the papers in hand we knew we weren't just being proud parents. But for all that, we knew something was wrong, different and so very not okay. Before (and after as well) Eddie was actually diagnosed with all of the above there was so much worry, fear and heartache. He would go without sleep for nights on end and there would be days he would cry for hours for no reason. He struggled to make and keep friends. He was unable to complete the simplest of tasks. For example, he would have a complete melt down if you asked him to clean his desk (he still does). Not a "I don't wanna/I'm not gonna" melt down. It was more like the world was coming to an end and for the life of him he couldn't figure out how to accomplish this if you didn't tell him step-by-step how to do the task kind of melt down. Ironic right? I mean, this is the same kid who has a genius IQ. The same kid who made all A's in his AP Algebra class. He was recognized by his school for academic excellence in AP Integrated Physics and Chemistry. Yeah, mommy can't help him with homework no more.

For all Eddie goes through, for all his struggles and labels, he is the one instrument God uses most to refine and teach us. You might see it as a negative, a sad thing, a woe is me what shall we do thing. Not me. Eddie is a gift. All we have gone through has been a gift of God's mercy, His grace, His love, His shaping us, His teaching us and so on. And the Father has taught us so much through our son. In my eyes, he is absolutely gifted. I know now there was no need to test him. Gifted with the ability to see the world differently than you and I. Gifted with the ability to walk, dance or run to whatever drum he hears. Gifted with emotional currents that run deep and strong. Gifted with the knowledge of a Father in Heaven, the love of Christ and the grace of a cross.

I wish you knew him like we did...I wish you knew about his imagination that just makes me shake my head and smile. I wish you knew exactly how sweet, caring, insightful and funny he is! Oh my word is he funny...and he can draw, he loves to draw houses and designs buildings and airplanes all the time. Oh, and he'll build you anything, and I mean it, anything, from a few legos, in fact he wants to be an architectural engineer. When he was two he wanted to be a paleontologist...but I think that changed once he saw Jurassic Park. Unlike full blown autistics, those who are considered mildly autistic don't necessarily have a problem with affection. Eddie, truly has no problem here...sometimes out of nowhere he will walk up to me or his dad and say "hug time!" and the death grip is on baby!

And since it's my blog and since it's Eddie's birthday I want to share with you some of the gifts I've received from Eddie:

Don't make excuses, make it happen.
Words hit harder than fists.
God hears you even when you don't say anything.
Just keep swimming.
We would have to be stranded all alone in the desert not to break any of the 10 commandments.
It's always a good time for a laugh.
Sometimes you just gotta cry.
Girls, especially sisters, are just wierd.
Vegetables are evil.
The ocean is full of water.
God is good no matter how bad it gets.
Don't freak out about the forest, take it one tree at a time.
It's always a good time for a hug.
Moms are supposed to be fluffy and comfy.
And,
Most of the life-lessons I will try to teach him, I still need to learn myself.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. James 1:17

8 comments:

  1. DANA!!!!! I didnt want to cry today! This post is so sweet!

    Happy Birthday, Eddie!!!!

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  2. Dana - I have a co-worker with a 15 year old son who has Asperger's as well. I sent a link to your blog to her because I know she can relate so much! I don't know Eddie, but I can tell he is a sweet gift from the Lord!

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  3. so sweet! i like the "don't freak out about the forest, take it one tree at a time". a very good lesson. happy birthday, eddie!!!

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  4. I love your list. You are such a neat mom Dana! Eddie is blessed to have you!

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  5. dana...thanks for stumbling on my blog!

    eddie sounds like my kind of people.

    especially the vegetables are evil part!

    come back anytime!

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  6. Eddie is one awesome kid! And he has two awesome parents - I hope he knows how blessed he is! Happy Birthday, Eddie!!! God has great plans for you.

    LMS

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  7. Eddie is so fortunate to have great parents like you and Jesse.

    I remember when Eddie was, oh, probably 10, when we had a full, deeply intelligent conversation about the Lord of the Rings. I was impressed! I love his drawings and floorplans and all the things his creative mind comes up with!

    Happy Birthday, Eddie (I know I'm late)

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and remember, words are my love language...