My sweet boy. Did you know were named after a Roman general? We almost named you Hannibal-you’ll learn about him later (trust me, your dad had about 100 books about him). He famously said “We will find the way or create it.” Those words helped me power through the shock and fear I felt when I found out you were growing inside me just 9 weeks after your brother was born. I thought,”there’s no way I have any more room in my heart left for another child” But I did. The second you were born my heart just burst open and took you inside and won’t ever let you go.
You’ve had a peaked interest in the world since only a couple of months old. You saw my bedside lap turn on and searched up and down and inside out for the source of that light. Much like, I often find myself wondering where your inner light is guiding you. I stared down at you on my lap amazed by your curiosity. Everyday, you figure out a new technique to getting around in the the world.-why DON’T we just lay and slide across tables? You find joy in the most complex or simplest nuances-zippers are really cool, after all.
I saw that curious look in your eyes the minute your brown and extra round ojitos peeped out from under that pink and blue striped beanie. There was a curious wonder and yet a wise understanding of the world around you, as if you already knew more than both your mom and dad, but were excited to learn more.
You grew fast. You cried when certain sounds got too loud, the same way you’d cry when your brother hit you. Loud sounds hurt. And they were scary. But you learned to cope with them.
You knew more words than your big brother. You were able to communicate faster, and your quirky personality blossomed. The games and toys you liked were different than most babies. You were obsessed with books, and anything you could build, or tinker with.
You loved talking and books. You loved songs like “Vengan a ver mi granja” and “Cinco Lobitos”. Animals are your favorite. You loved tackling, and grappling, and shoving your puckered lips onto my cheeks with a tight grip around my neck. You were so small but a bundle of sweet testosterone and charm.
Then you spoke less. You didn’t like group sessions or playing with friends. Teachers had a harder time getting you to sit with classmates. Books were still your friends. Getting a kiss from you was like pulling teeth. Less hugs, more hitting, more biting. But you were still happy. Still giggling-biting became hilarious! But changes, big and little were hard to get through. All the while I sat back and watched from a far as life changed fast for mommy too.
You’ve picked up some new words, and lost some others. But you remain our Max. Walking in an endless state of Wanderlust. Buzz Lightyear’s number one fan.
You’ve tested high risk for autism. I think Dad and I knew it was coming all along. But it’s a little different when you get a paper saying it. I cried a little because I don’t want this world to be any harder for you than it has to be.
But then I remembered, you’re Max. You love a challenge. You’re brilliant and have figured out that it’s not about how we’re supposed to fit in this world, it’s how we’re supposed make it fit in our life. How we see it, experience it, and choose to walk through it.
So you may have a “high risk” of being on the autism spectrum, but you’re also high risk for being an engineer, because you love to build and solve problems. You’re at a high risk for composing a beautiful masterpiece on the piano-I hear the tunes you make on the keyboard. You’re at an even higher risk for being a veterinarian. You love animals and want them to enjoy a pacifier just like you. You’re high risk for jumping through a window as a stuntman. You fear nothing, the higher the ledge the better. The faster the speed the funner. Eres mas vago que nada, pero me encanta ver tus travesuras.
The highest risk, however cannot be measured on a spectrum, on a chart, or via test. In fact, it’s not a risk at all-it’s a fact: You have my unconditional love and support.
I will fight harder, longer, and stronger than anyone in your life to make sure you and your hermanos succeed in this world. The whole world will know just how beautiful and brilliant you are. I’ll find someone to help you learn the way that is best for you to understand. I’ll work with every speech therapist on the planet to make sure your voice doesn’t get lost in the vast colorful world in your mind.
We’ve had some bad days, and we’ll have some more. But I will continue to be that obnoxious cheerleader who gets giddy every time you say a new word like “train,” or put a sentence, no matter the size, together-like “hooot!, don’t toussshhh”You’re too rough, and too sweet. You’re move too fast, but still at your own speed, and sometimes that makes mami and dad nervous. You’re messy at playtime, but clean it all right up. You’re a little too isolated, but love a good old bear hug.
But truthfully, you’re just too smart for us-we all know that, you especially know that. Be patient, mi guerillo, it may take us a little longer to figure you out. But my love will remain the same, before during and after, we figure out the obstacles.
We have a journey ahead, at least six months until we get an actual diagnosis. As of now, you’re just at a high risk of being on the spectrum, a higher risk of being my perfect Max whom I won’t trade for the world, and at the highest risk of having a mom who’s love is so strong, far, and wide, there is no spectrum for it.