Last week, we drove to the frozen Northern coast of Michigan to see my daughter perform on stage.
…and yes… with it being December? There was snow… a lot of snow.
Yes… the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan was very white.
Joking around with my son, I pointed to Lake Superior (with its chunks of ice) and asked him, “Hey Buddy… should we go swimming?”
He looked out the window at the huge waves and the snowy beach … “No.. no .. no.. wait a minute,” he told me, obviously appalled at my lack of good choices. “We CAN’T go swimming.”
Trying not to laugh at his tone, I asked seriously, “Why not?”
Annoyed, my son stated, “There are FISH in there.”
As if the FISH were the OBVIOUS reason we could NOT go swimming in Lake Superior in the middle of December.
After we all burst out laughing, I told him that it was “too cold” to go swimming anyway.
He looked at me for a second, then said, “Yeah, it’s too cold.” … like EVERYONE knew it was too cold.
It makes me laugh to see the world through my son’s eyes…
…but it also makes me think.
My son has Autism .. and he sees the whole world differently than I do. And it fascinates me. The things that I see as obvious? He looks past them. The things that I look past? He finds them fascinating…. and very important.
As a result, he makes me look at the world differently.. every day.
My son is a senior in high school this year. Which means that next year we will be heading down a different road. An unknown.. untraveled road …for us.
… and I admit… it looks a little bit like that windy beach… high waves crashing down on the sand.. limited visibility of the horizon???
Yeah… I have some worries.
My son wants to go to college. There are colleges for students with Autism… and there is even one in Michigan.
.. there are still unknowns.. there always will be unknowns with mood disorders…
But… where I look at obvious worries and stop?
.. where I see obvious worries… my son looks beyond .. He sees the “cold weather” and the “waves” as a given… and looks beyond to the things that worry him.
So what I figure?
…if we have gotten through 18 1/2 years of wind and obstacles on this journey through life?
… Then maybe.. just maybe… we can help each get past the obvious issues.. I can help him past the fish and he can help me see past the cold…
…and we will make it through this new adventure together…
..and it will be beautiful….