Tuesday, July 9, 2013
3 Things for Success
(Side note: Nathan is in the back there and unfortunately, not looking too happy. At this point it was 90 degrees and extremely humid. They were the last in the parade and it turns out he had a 102 degree fever. Poor guy!)
I was sewing yesterday when Nathan walked into the craft room, holding a ribbon in his hand. He said, "Look what I found." It was a ribbon from a 4H event that he won when he was about 10 years old.
He then went on to say, "I've come a long way since then." "I was such a scared little boy and now look at me."
And he's right. He was terrified of everything. Even as a toddler if the wind blew a flower next to him, he would begin to shake and cry. You could feel his heart pounding and he was shivering. Of course, now I know that many of these irrational fears had to do with being on the autism spectrum.
I reminded him yesterday that there were three reasons he has achieved many wonderful things against the odds. Many of the things that have happened in his life, we were told he would never do.
1. He has faith. He doesn't always articulate it and he is influenced many times by those around him who could care less about the Lord, but Nathan has faith. He has a relationship with the Lord. He prays. He believes God loves him and has a plan for him. Sometimes, I need to remind him of that when things are rough, but he believes.
2. He has a loving family in his corner and cheering him on. A few times over the years, I've had his teachers say that they weren't worried about him because he had parents who were supportive and encouraging and pushing him to be all he could be. We've always encouraged Nathan to do his best, despite his disabilities. Even though his reading level is quite low, I've read him high level books. I've encouraged him to give me feedback on them. I've expected him to learn, even though it is a slower pace.
I know the fireman probably think we are weird, but we are at most of his parades and taking pictures. We cheer for him. We are available. We love him just the way he is!
3. He is determined. I've never seen someone so determined and driven as Nathan to achieve something despite his struggles. His goal is to be a paid firefighter. I don't know if it will happen, but with his determination, I wouldn't be surprised.
When he is knocked down he gets back up. Recently someone who is in authority and should know better, told Nathan a piece of gossip about himself that was bad. Someone had said that they didn't think Nathan would make it as a firefighter. The person repeating it was repeating it for spite, and that knocked the wind out of his sails for a couple of days. His self-confidence hangs by a thread and those unkind words severed it. His mother really, really wanted to lay into someone but I restrained myself! ;-)
But after a LOT of encouragement from us, he got over it. He got up, brushed himself off and is more determined than ever. Unless he is working, he tries to make every single fire and ambulance call. He is called on constantly to do silly little errands because we live next to the firehouse, but he does it and he does it cheerfully.
So when he was chatting with me yesterday, I reminded him of these three reasons why he has come so far. Of why he is achieving things the doctors never thought he'd achieve. I reminded him that the reason he is successful and always will be is because of these three things.
He is a super-star and inspires me every single day!