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Friday, November 20, 2009

Enigma. Personified.

This is our boy. He's quiet and placid. Loving and forgiving. Sensitive and caring. Often happy and energetic.

He's also sometimes loud and frustrating, sometimes impatient and whiny.

At times, I will admit he's an enigma to me. On days like today, when I have yet another discussion with him about the tone of his voice, and the choice of words he's using, I shake my head in bafflement. --I'm sure right now my Mom is smiling as she reads this, maybe thinking I'm getting a wee taste of what I gave her. And I am. Oh, am I ever. --Sometimes Connor's an enigma, but sometimes I totally get him. I understand the thundercloud in his chest he feels some days, and I understand the joy he finds in unexpected places. I understand his frustrations and his many dreams. I see his personality and I'll admit I kind of cringe, hoping he won't be like I was as a child. (Hoping against hope that he's more like Paul and less like me...)

But then he'll do something that makes me feel like the sun just touched my shoulders on a warm day. And I look into his eyes and see who he really is, and who he wants to be. His heavy-lidded lashes open and look honestly at me, waiting for response. And it doesn't just feel like the warm sun came out; it feels like my heart is growing and growing, ready to fill my whole being with love for the little stinker.

He's the little boy who loves to get up really early before school starts. He'll sneak out of bed before 6:00 am, and ask, "Joel, do you want me to turn on the light for you so you can read?" Like he's doing Joel a favor or something. (Joel always says, "NO. Don't. I'm sleeping. Go to sleep.") And Connor says, "I CAN'T! Seriously, I can't!" Unsuccessful with his brother, Connor then pads over to his sleeping twin sister's room... "But, Mom, I DIDN'T wake Nora up! I just went in and poked her toes a little bit. I didn't call her name, though!" And in that moment, I want to just laugh, the joy bubbling up even though I'm so aggravated that he once again tried to wake his siblings. Even though every night we tell him to just come downstairs quietly without waking them. I love it and can't stand it all at the same time. An enigma.

In the morning, he'll quietly lay on the rug and draw pictures, or build Lego towers, filling long moments of solitude. He's the child who is so happy to just find paper and pencil and draw for hours, creating tiny detailed sketches of soldiers, cowboys, Indians, arrows, animals, flags, ships, and pirates.

He's the boy who takes such good care of his twin sister, making sure she's happy with him, joining her when she wants to play pretend, even if her idea of a good time is different from his. Today I found him in the backyard, laying in the fall grass, enjoying the 60 degree November day, paper and pencil at the ready. He silently scooted over as Nora walked up to him, making room for her to watch as he drew. She didn't speak, and neither did he. But they just know each other enough to not use words sometimes. I love watching them, and wish I could be more like them.

He's the boy who wants so badly to be like his big brother, doing things to impress Joel even if they aren't always things that I condone. He wants to fit in, to be liked. But he also doesn't want to fit in, and he doesn't care if someone likes him or not. An enigma. He's the middle child by less than one minute, but he takes that one minute and carries it a mile. He does nothing halfway. And I want to hug him for it.

This is our boy. And I love him. Yes, he does baffle me. But I'll take these moments, and bottle them up, and hold them close while I pray for so many more just like them.

*To learn about or purchase 'Prints for a Purpose', click here. Thank you for the interest and support thus far!*
This months' charity is 'Autism Speaks.'


  1. I remember those days, but sadly I don't remember feeling or acting so poetic about it. Enjoy it while you can!

  2. So, Betsy, when will your first book come out?? You have a wonderful way with words! VERY talented in so many aspects.

  3. Awesome pics of the "little stinker"
    Keep up the art Buddy! I could use a colored pencil drawing - don't fold it this time - I could hang it in my studio :)

  4. I'm not sure what I liked best.... your photos or your words!