This week, my two year-old son took his first walk outside.
He did it independently, with a gait-trainer, and he walked for just short of a 100-foot stretch.
We had to make it over a slope, and then a rather large crack in the pavement. Yet, when we had finally reached the straightaway, he started to put one foot in front of the other, using the gait trainer to help keep him upright.
I gave him his space.
It was slow, and I definitely couldn't rush the process, but he did it.
My heart melted, feeling like the center of a Cadbury Egg.
I took two pictures and tried to call my husband.
Heck, I wanted to yell at the nearby teachers in the playground, "Are you seeing this?"
I slumped into the drivers seat, processing what just happened.
With those few moments, it almost felt like we were transported into another world together.
The mystery of life is this: a whole new world lies just beyond our reach at any given moment.
Then, one day, a small miracle happens, and we're transported into a new world together, just beyond the first.
He holds a fork for the first time, he blinks as if she understands, he is potty trained, she has her first day at school, he makes a friend.
On our worst days, we're convinced this is it.
We're trapped in a moment.
We judge and quantify and label our circumstances, categorizing them into "it will get better" or "it won't get better."
Return to the hope that there is actually mystery in life, that there is goodness around the corner, that there is more about you as a parent to discover and more about your child to discover.
Set goals, focus your actions, plan as much as you want -- but don't try to make predictions that lock you into this world.
It takes patience, perseverance, and hope.
Yet as the world continues to turn, as days pass, as moments tick by, we inch closer and closer to these new worlds, passing in and out, sharing the joys we are gifted for sometimes just seconds at a time.
Does your child have an autism diagnosis?