Today, April 2nd, marks World Autism Day. Steve Bedard has contributed a number of posts for the forum, and we are happy to welcome him back to share a story of life with his son Logan.
As I write this, my son Logan is one week away from turning eighteen. Logan happens to have autism. These milestone birthdays frequently lead me to a time of reflection on our experience.
When Logan turned sixteen, it was a time of mourning for me. I saw pictures of friends teaching their sixteen year olds how to drive. That is not going to happen with Logan. That birthday was a reminder about the hopes and dreams I had for Logan and watching them disappear.
This birthday is different. It is a bigger birthday as Logan is becoming an adult. Again, I had ideas when he was born of what his adulthood would be like. Reality will be different than my imagination.
However, my reflections have shifted in their perspective. I am seeing more clearly the young man that he is and not the one that I had once wished for. I am proud of Logan exactly as he is right now.
Our relationship has developed and I am able to connect with him in new ways. We have also watched his Christian faith develop. We are not able to have verbal conversations about faith, but we can see growth in his relationship with God.
It is ironic that eighteen is a birthday with expectations of greater maturity. While Logan has matured, I see the maturity in my own attitudes. Somehow, I have shifted from hoping to rejoicing. I see the person that Logan is becoming and I am thankful for his unique personality. He is exactly who God intended him to be.
Will I ever have thoughts of what could have been? Definitely. Yet I am very aware of being blessed with an amazing son, who is perfect the way he is. It was I and not he that needed to mature into adulthood.