Saturday, November 23, 2013

This Young Man...

is gonna be 14 really soon!!

I can't believe I am 36 and I have a 14 year-old son!

I still feel 19!

I recently had a conversation with someone about how our expectations are so different for children with special needs. When you have children with mental impairment you never know how far forward they will be able to advance socially, emotionally or educationally.

Will Brother act like he's an 8 year old trapped in the body and social expectations of a young man's world for the rest of his life? Or will he eventually be acting like a 14 year-old in a 25 year-old's body.

I don't know.

Marc doesn't know.

Frankly, Brother doesn't know either.

I am not even sure if he really cares.

I think he is a little confused sometimes that his peers don't enjoy the same things he does.

On the other hand I think his peers are confused when they find out he still likes to color in coloring books and play with toys.

I guess that's where the elite balance of his friends come into play.

He is so blessed to have peers around him that understand both sides and accept and encourage him in every way.

I'm pretty sure every 14-15 year old that comes to our house would't choose to sit down and color, watch trains endlessly on YouTube or listen to him sing at the top of his lungs while they are watching a movie together… but because of how great they are to him, you would never know. You would think they came over specifically to do just that with him.

I am so grateful everyday for the friends that Brother has in his life.

Did you notice I didn't put it in quotes that time?

I am accepting that a friend is all kinds of things as long as they are accepting of who you truly are and will care about you no matter what battles you may be fighting.

I am impressed with the youth in our area.

I am impressed with the involvement  our district brings for main stream students and special education students.

I cannot tell you how amazing it is to have young men, like Elvis, (ha! I just love his blog name) show up at our door every Sunday to walk with Brother to church and watch them keep a smile even after Brother shuns them because he doesn't want to go with them. But, they keep coming, every week, with a smile on their face. They know, deep down, that Brother truly appreciates their kindness but doesn't always have the anxiety levels under control.

I love that Gracie will come 3 times a week just to play the same WII game for hours, color, or listen to Brother sing his heart out! It's truly amazing.

Or when Lexi invites him in to join with his violin on her viola practice.

I love this 14 year old!

I love all the 11-18 year olds around him who care about him and take care of him.

I love seeing Brother's personality shine as he learns so many things from his peers.

It is inspiring to watch Brother every day.

He makes me smile.

I mean, really, who shaves their eyebrows out of curiosity?

Who can hug his sister to pieces and still have enough energy to give me endless hugs?

Who has a way with babies like he does?

Who has the determination to live like a pioneer for a week and be a shining example to those around him?

Who can jump into a pool and make you laugh?

Who can be brave in spite of complete fear?

Who likes to make his daddy smile by trying to be just like him?

Who can turn a fan into a shield for anxiety?

Who can turn their iPod into a million dollar camera capturing the million dollar images?

OK, maybe not Brother, but I am sure proud of him for trying!

Who else loves Indian artifacts so much that he is already talking about his next trip to Escalante with his dad?

And, really, most of all this kid can make you smile just because he does.

I love this kid and I am so proud of all the things he was able to accomplish this past year.

Happy 14th Birthday soon Brother!

If you want learn about what a young man in his 14th year is capable of  
and are curious to learn more about Mormons, you can read more about it here.

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