I will always thank you for that
During the last few years I’ve had the good fortune to get to know several boys with Aspberger’s syndrome. They are bright and inquisitive. They have a strong sense of social justice. They are interesting people to be around.
It is neither because of nor in spite of their Aspberger’s that I like them. I just like them. A lot.
I admire their intelligence. I am fascinated by the way their minds work. They make my life richer.
They have parents like the mother in this animated video. Joshua Littman is 12. In this StoryCorps video, he interviews his mother, Sarah.
The questions are honest and probing. They are the kinds of questions I would expect from my young friends. The answers are equally honest and so loving they bring tears to my eyes.
This isn’t a story in the sense of beginning, middle, and end. But it is a good example of the beauty of StoryCorps, whose “mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.” Every country should have a StoryCorps.
And it is a good example of the power of love. Joshua asks his mother, “Did I turn out to be the son you wanted when I was born? Did I meet your expectations?”
His mother replies, “You’ve exceeded my expectations, Sweetie. …Because you think differently from what they tell you in the parenting books, I really had to learn to think out of the box with you. And it’s made me much more creative as a parent and a person. And I’ll always thank you for that.”
Opening our hearts to the stories of each others’ differences makes us better people. I’m grateful to the young boys who are teaching me what it is like to live with Aspberger’s. And I am grateful to their parents, who are teaching me what it is like to love without boundaries.