We’re celebrating another traditional holiday in our house today. Long gone are the expectations that Ronan will patiently sit throughout the Easter festivities though. It’s okay. Ronan makes up for his impatience in one area by dazzling us in another. Take his spelling for instance. It.Is.Taking.Off! I couldn’t be more proud of Ronan—he’s learning quickly and using his voice output device to label, ask questions and to tell us what he wants, see, needs and likes. He’s even sounding out words letter-by-letter that he wants us to hear. It’s very exciting.
Other parts of Ronan’s life are going at his usual snail’s pace. He does things a little bit at a time as he’s able (and sometimes on his schedule). But the pace Ronan is working has just enough momentum to shows me that he’s creeping toward progress. Slow and steady is how a lot of people learn. Ronan is just taking a little bit longer to perfect his skills and to be ready to work on the next one.
I heard this song on the way home mid-week. It reminded me of a lot of things we’ve hoped and done for Ronan. I’ve always said it’s the little things Ronan that is able to share with us that keep us going. I’ll quickly forget that on the bad days when things are difficult for Ronan, but other people keep me in check reminding me to focus on his growth and to remember how much of a feat it was for Ronan to accomplish something.
Being able to see the transformation of what was to what is (while looking forward to what can be) has my entire family, from the super siblings to our extended family across the miles, celebrating Ronan’s efforts and advancements a little bit at time. We cling to the little bit of this, the little bit of that and whatever else we need to cling to for Ronan and sometimes, for each other.
Just a little bit of determination opens a door that had been previously shut.
Just a little bit of sacrifice here makes an opportunity available over there.
Just a little bit of darkness makes us turn around and find the light again.
Just a little bit of a dream turns the unimaginable into reality.
Just a little bit of hope helps keep a dream alive.
After being worn down by autism, by the behaviors and by the naysayers, I sometimes don’t think I can’t do it any longer. Just a little bit. Some days that’s all I can offer. But feeling happiness after seeing just a little bit of one of Ronan’s smiles or of remembering how excited we were to see his handwriting on the wall as I walk through the house, or of hearing a request on his output device say, “Mom help please” is just enough motivation for me to continue.
When I give of myself to my son and to my family, even if it may be just a little bit, it includes all of my love and all of my devotion. I hope that you are blessed today with love and devotion from someone in your life. May that love and devotion carry you through a tough moment, through little struggles and eventually bring you to the need to celebrate something very big.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.