Every now and then I have the incredible opportunity of seeing my boys through someone else's eyes.
Yesterday our school district had a fund raising basketball game, where faculty and staff from the schools and the board played each other. I brought TJ and Peter to cheer on their elementary school teachers, and current teachers.
We got there a little early for some socializing time. I used to work at one of the elementary schools so I was also looking forward to greeting old friends.
Now I think that TJ grew taller yesterday between school drop off and school pick up. So it was of no surprise to me when his teachers looked up to smile at him.
But what was wonderful was seeing his teachers' faces as he greeted them, and responded to his questions. And seeing their faces as they looked at Peter, hardly recognizing my growing teenager from his early school days.
These people have been through some of the hardest times of our lives with us. They helped us through TJ's diagnosis, his first school days, my coping with leaving my baby at school without me, and Peter's growing pains as an autism brother.
Their smiles said it all. Their smiles spoke to my heart. They didn't need to say a word.
What I wish I could express to all of these wonderful people is how loved they are by our family. I think they know, but I don't think they know how ingrained they are into our life story.
When they knew TJ, he couldn't sit through a basketball game. The buzzer scared him - he never knew when it was coming. The crowd and cheering made him uncomfortable. He was in misery sitting in the stands.
But yesterday he was cheering out loud along side his brother and teachers. He stood up and cheered with every basket. He listened to the band and smiled when he heard them playing The Muppet Show theme song. And he yelled various teachers' names as they ran by him on the court.
He was happy.
And I was so happy to be reminded of how far he has come in his autism journey. And so happy to be sitting along side of these amazing people who played such a huge role in getting him to where he is today.
So thank you, friends and teachers, for reminding me again what an incredible gift I have in both my boys, and what an incredible gift I have in all of you.
Thank you, always.