The Youngest

The Youngest

Tonight, joy made me weep.

We walked, after dinner, past the school, towards the park.

Two traversed the narrow wall. One rode the scooter. And the youngest? He ran freely, in bare feet, on the once pink sidewalk. At five, he trails behind his siblings. Bikes elude him and he’s just learning the art of going potty. When he learned to walk at almost two, I said a prayer of thanksgiving. This child, the one with autism and extra special needs, has so many character traits. But jealousy is not one of them. He cackles when their nimble selves jump into the pool and dive beneath the surface. He dodges balls and claps when they shoot baskets. He is never happier when in their midst. And they, his. They may scrap and ravage one another for the slightest inconvenience, but he is their golden child. Theirs, not mine. While I may lose my patience or wallow in the what shall be, they embrace him exactly how he is, in this very moment. It’s not that they don’t ponder and discuss his life as a grown up. They do, but in quite a matter of fact way. His future holds no fear for them. Fear has always been my biggest enemy. And tonight, when I saw the littlest peer at the oldest and vice versa, I was overcome with love.

The kind of love that can move mountains and yes, even drown out fear.

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