TJ was diagnosed with autism in August of 2002.
It's easy to go back to that sad, scary day. In an instant I am sitting on that couch with Sean, hearing those words "He has autism". And in an instant I feel that mix of pain, relief, and complete grief.
Pain and grief for dreams we had to say goodbye to, and for a future we envisioned that was not to be. Relief for knowing that finally, after months of knowing something wasn't right, we can begin to help our boy.
Although I can be back there in an instant, with one single thought, I don't stay for long.
Now, a world away, we have a very capable almost 15 year old ("A month and 3 days until my birthday mom!").
He is in high school.
He gets himself from class to class.
He does homework.
He bathes himself.
He dresses himself.
He has friends. Good ones.
He texts with his brother. They razz each other back and forth.
He loves raunchy movies. Not too raunchy - think "Dodgeball".
He loves to repeat the worst lines of those raunchy movies.
He is TJ. He is his own growing, changing kid. He is amazing.
So while we think of that day almost 13 years ago, we never stay there for very long. No need to.
He is forming his own future. With help. But we can't wait to see what happens next.