"Look At Me"

"Look At Me"
monotype and screenprint

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Opening Reception of Show #1!!!

Me and the two beautiful boys who are my inspiration...

     Saturday was my Opening Reception.  It went really well, except I choked on my speech.  I had it all planned out.  I knew what I was going to say.  And then I got behind the podium and a lump got in my throat.  I could barely speak because I was trying not to cry.  Speech class in high school did NOT prepare me for having to talk about my heart.  Anything that has to do with Derek and autism makes me an emotional wreck.  He's so precious to me-- it breaks my heart that others might view him as "impaired" or define him by his "disability."  He lights up my life.  Both of my kids do. 

    Anyway, this was my speech.  Sort of.  I choked my way through it. 

     Three years ago, right about this time--in the middle of winter--was when Derek started going downhill.  I watched my happy baby slowly disappear into his own world; a world where he had no interest in anyone and nobody could reach him.  I couldn't get my own son to make eye contact, or even to acknowledge that I was THERE.  My heart shattered.  I made a vow that I would get my son back, no matter what it cost.  I recently read a quote by another mom with an autistic son.  She said, 'He is not in his "own world."  I'm here too.'  This quote is perfect.  How did I get my son back?  I joined him in his world.  Some days are so difficult I feel like I have gone through the Looking Glass on Alice in Wonderland.  I see the world through my son's eyes and everything has gone topsy-turvy.  But I wouldn't change a thing. 

    The bottom line is, I did this project for a little brown-eyed boy with a huge heart.  I wanted to tell him in the only way that I know how, that I am not ashamed of his "disability" or his diagnosis.  The word autism is not dirty or bad.  The diagnosis was not the end of the world--it was the beginning of a different one.  Derek is as beautiful to me now as he was the day he was born--maybe even more so.  Because I know how hard he has worked.  I know what he has overcome.  Every word out of his mouth is a MIRACLE.  I'm so proud of him I can't possibly describe it in words.   And I hope that someday down the road, when (not if!!!) Derek is speaking, he'll tell me he's proud of me as well...

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