There are many different types of people that are welcomed to your life. Sometimes these people are invited, other times they barge in, and every once in awhile – somebody you never saw coming, lands their parachute on your front yard.
Scanning the paper, I ran across a tiny little advertisement placed by one of our now favorite people, Christy. Our 6 year old autistic son was so “severely delayed” that even the licensed speech-language pathologist we hired to come to our home exited him from the program after 3 appointments. Ouch.
Christy was in her last year of college to become certified as a speech language therapist. She was advertising “play therapy”. Wow! That could really be something to check out. Play therapy was a newer term being used for when a therapist would “play” with the child and look for opportunities to integrate speech/language techniques along the way.
I can’t tell you what she was thinking after she entered our home the first time and met our family. But, she came back. She came back again, and again for a long time. Over the years she became such a big part of our son’s life, taking him on outings, personal care, even trying to get him to cook something (not an easy task!). She even involved his little brother in their activities and going ons – we were the luckiest parents in the whole world!
She had her work cut out for her on some days. Mr Grumpy could bitch and moan like no other! Our younger son would totally rat out his brother telling us when he was rude to Christy. And let me tell you, if he was in a mood, there really is nothing like rude from our oldest – loud, unreasonable, and belligerent.
For many years, we as parents, went on auto pilot with Christy. So comfortable we were with her, coming over after school and before we got home from work, that I can honestly say I should be embarrassed that I turned it over so completely. I was working, my husband was working, and we had turned the whole thing over. That was trust.
I know she loves our kids, and has remarked herself how fortunate she has been to be involved with such a wonderful young man who has come so far along from where he started. They don’t see each other as often anymore. Our son turned 18 and we felt it was time to start another chapter in his life – getting ready for college and what lays ahead.
We haven’t formally “Thanked” Christy for all she’s done over the years with our son. We are not ungrateful, it would just be awkward. Along the way, our son and Christy spent their time together in an ongoing relationship. It was not “employer or employee”. No way! This was a person who was an integrated part of our son’s life. Honestly, how do you thank somebody that has given so much of themselves loving and caring for your son to the degree Christy has? How do you thank somebody that cherishes the fragile bond they have formed with a person “who’s not supposed to make friendships” You can’t.
Christy has a beautiful family of her own and practices speech pathology in her own home. Every odd time she comes over and takes our son on a little adventure. She has planted many, many milestones with our son over the years and will always be a part of his continued successes.
Christy (and you know who you are) you are the best person ever and we love you! ~ Wendy Frye