Did you ever as a kid try to jump from one stepping stone to another in some path along a garden somewhere back in time? Were the stones placed just right so that you could land perfectly from one to the next? Or, did you find it a struggle and look for ways to stay atop the stones without falling off and still make it to the next without skipping a stone and thus your game having failed you? You probably found that you needed each stone to line up just right so that your stride would allow you to reach the next without failure, am I right?
I look back to the beginning of Connor’s journey with autism and even before his super power had a name, his first “stepping stone” of support was already in place! I really don’t know if it was that he picked his first stone himself or if she saw just how great his needs were, but Connor’s very first stone of support on his path to success was the daycare manager, Renae. I was headed back to work full time and Connor was over a year old when I expressed my concern to Renae about some of his noted delays showing up but she assured me she would take care of him! Wow! Did she ever, the two be came inseparable almost from the start! Renae’s office became “Renae and Connor’s office!” He became attached at her hip and he stole her heart (and her husband’s too!) He went everywhere she went and did everything she did, and I’m pretty sure, 8 years later I still owe her some back pay for the extra care and attention that he was so demanding of her back then! But then again, that’s just it…. stepping stones are just there by their very nature in nature for whatever comes their way, right? To take whatever “needs” to step on or over them that day! It’s their job, their only job and they do it well!
Renae never once came to us with all the needs our son had and never, not one time did she say that he was too much to handle! And I have no doubt during those days before Connor had words and before he had glasses, which meant he had little to no real eyesight and then the added sensory and processing issues to go along with that in a busy daycare setting, he had to be one upset and confused child, thus the reason she was there being that stone that he needed at all times…. Bless her, but you tell me how that stepping stone didn’t break?
There are times when I want to go back and do over things I have done wrong and the mistakes I’ve made regarding the needs of my child… I’m sure more of those feelings are to come, however, stepping stones in his “path” such as the likes of Renae and the others that have followed I will forever be indebted to….. Renae, Thank You for being his first!
Be sure to thank your stepping stones, for if you go back and recount the path your child has taken…. chances are that even though you know he/she has darted off the path a time or two, there were still plenty of “stones” they found along the way that lead them back to where they are now!