He Said “What?”!

Josiah's new glasses! He's styling.

Josiah's styling in his new glasses!

Something surprising happened. Twice. I was sitting in the recliner upstairs and Josiah was playing on the floor. I said, “Josiah.” And he turned and said… “What?” My husband and I looked at each other at the same time with that “Did you hear what I heard” look on our faces. Josiah said, “What?”! Now, that is not anything to write home about for a typical kid by any means. But for us, that was awesome because for some reason the whats, yes, and nos are hard to come by for some kids with autism. Now, we haven’t heard it since, but it’s another one of those assurances that he’s in there. He’s absorbing. We just need to unlock whatever is damming up the communication–somehow, sometime, for keeps. Tall order, I suppose, but some people do it. We could be one of those people.

This past weekend I got together with some old college friends. One of them brought her kids–a two-year-old boy and a four-year-old girl. I’m not around a lot of other kids, but the contrast between Josiah and the two-year-old who was a full year younger was so glaring. I had so much fun with the kids playing and laughing. I was doing silly voices and singing and chasing them around and they loved it! They were just drawn to me. The little girl called me the “funny mommy.” I did a lot of things that I do with Josiah, but it felt really good to get such an enthusiastic reaction back. The give and take of conversation. How my heart has longed for it! That taste of it only made me want it more.

I would love to hear Josiah say, “Momma, look a monkey! Oooh oooh ahhh ahhh.” To hear the simple acknowledgements of “yes,” “no,” “okay,” “I want…” would be sublime. But, I’m reminded to be thankful for the little victories we’ve seen recently. Josiah has been so joyful. He’s a laughing, adorable, good little guy. He even seems to be teasing us sometimes. He also has words, and I know it’s more than a lot of people get. After two weeks of wondering what was happening to him (a regression of sorts, it seemed), he’s showing us his little personality again. He’s doing better again. And, after a defiant two weeks of not wearing his glasses suddenly, he’s all over it now!

There was something about Josiah turning three earlier this month that was hard. I just wanted to see more of a breakthrough by now, I guess. Expectations by certain milestones can be hard to live up to. We’re doing so much. We want to see great gains. All of us parents dealing with autism do.

Oh, how I love my sweet little boy. I want to know him more. I want to know what he’s thinking. I want him to share with me how school went today. I want to talk and play with him for hours. I do sometimes see him whole and talkative in my dreams. I’m praying hard that those dreams will come true! In the meantime, I will purpose to unselfishly keep talking, keep playing, and keep loving him with everything in me no matter what I receive back.

I have suffered much, O Lord; restore my life again, just as you promised… See how I love your commandments. Give me back my life because of your unfailing love. Psalm 119:107, 159


5 Responses

  1. What?! He said what?! What, said he? What!
    Woohooo! More “whats” and “Yes, Mommas” are coming – I just know it and believe it!

    Josiah looks like such a big boy in this picture! Happy Birthday, beautiful boy.

  2. That is wonderful that he said What. Matty was this age when he started his first mutterings, no solid words. Now he is 12 and rambles about all kinds of stuff. YOu will be one of those parents. I just know it will happen for you guys and Josiah 🙂

  3. WHAT wonderful news! Isn’t it wonderful to celebrate the victories? We reacted the same the first few times Turner asked “why?” He still doesn’t say it much, but his milestones are far outnumbering his regressions. Camden said “I love you” the first time last Thursday. I was in awe. I wish all of that and more for you three. You are wonderful and engaged parents and Josiah knows he is blessed to have you as his mom and dad. Our boys have such wonderful potential, and it’s our job as parents to “see” it in them, and “believe” it. Keep up the good work!

    PS: I totally understand how difficult it can be to play with typical kids. I’ve been there and feel your pain. I do think our kids feel joy unlike that of typical kids. It is a joy and a light that just beams out of them. Watch for it:)

  4. Wow! Your post was touching. I can’t help but wish for you to have a million more moments like this one.

  5. Dear Friend and fellow “Mother Warrior;”

    Thank you so much for this blog site. It has an been an incredible blessing to me. When I’ve felt downhearted, I go to your blog site for refreshment and encouragement. Your heart for God, for your son and for your husband are evident.

    I really liked, “We Wear the Mask.” I cried as I read it. I’ve shared it with so many others.

    I also love the video of Josiah and the music that goes with it. I’ve sung the refrain many times to my children – “How long do you want to be loved? Is forever enough, is forever enough? How long do you want to be loved? Is forever enough, ’cause I’m never, never giving you up…”

    Today, we celebrate Brenna’s 4th birthday. Her birthday is significant, because as you say, each milestone brings thoughts of where we are, how far we’ve come and what we hope will be. We’ve been fighting to bring her back for the past two years with the help of Pfeiffer Treatment Center, and the many prayers of dear friends and family. Our God is the same miracle producing God that delivered the Israelites out of the darkness and oppression of Egypt and into the promised land. We pray for Brenna’s deliverance – even her deliverance from evil.
    She has made incredible progress. We can attest to the truth that biomedical intervention does help recover our children. And, that God is mighty to save!

    God be with you and your dear family,
    Ann (a mom who’s never giving up on her dear own – Brenna Suzanne)

    P.S. Would it be possible to make a connection with you?
    We live in MN.

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