“You have turned my mourning into dancing. You have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” – Psalm 30:11-12
Thanksgiving week was pretty momentous – like take your breath away and leave you speechless amazing – the highest level of epic.
Luke and Faith were running around the front yard, enjoying the cool air that finally made it’s way down to South Florida after our hottest summer on record (which lasted until the end of October), and I was watching from the doorway. Luke disappeared around the side of the house for a moment, and that’s when it happened.
Luke emerged from around the house with a sly smile on his face, looking me right in the eye as though he had a sweet secret. He was walking right toward me. As he got closer I could see he was holding something, and then he extended his precious little hand to me and laid a flower in my palm.
Let me refresh your memory of an excerpt from Blessing #6 that I posted nearly two years ago, speaking about ways my mothering experience has been different from most:
“I don’t have silly stories to share about things that Luke said like other mothers do. Luke doesn’t create homemade love gifts or bring me fistfuls of grubby flowers picked from the yard. He doesn’t call me ‘Mommy.'”
Ok, so it wasn’t a flower. It was a weed. But in that moment I saw a weed become more precious and valuable than the rarest, most priceless bloom. I know I should have thrown my arms around Luke and praised him, but I was stunned. There were only tears of happiness.
I thought to myself how I could never feel that level of joy and gratitude were it not for the blessing of autism in my life – how a hundred such moments with Luke would never equate to that one.
And for the record, he calls me “Mommy” now, too. That very night I slipped into Luke’s room to check on him and he was still awake. “Mommy,” he said and then gestured for me to lay next to him. Then he put his palm gently against my cheek and whispered under his breath, “Mommy … mommy … mommy …” as he drifted off to sleep.
Never have I felt so loved and cherished as a mother.
This is thankfulness.