Hope For The Future
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”
I certainly hope you recognize that quote. If not, I'll confess that I have never seen Stripes nor Pulp Fiction, so I guess we’re even. But I digress.
I had the chance to hang out with my brother this past weekend. It's been a really long time since I saw him last. Work, kids, and life all get in the way as we all know. But I got a text on Friday night to say that he was shuttling my nephew down near me for a lacrosse tournament. Lord knows I am free, so I met him at the field in between the first and second game.
In the midst of tournament madness, I was quickly captivated by an intense pickup game of Lacrosse Baseball. You haven’t heard of Lacrosse Baseball? Oh, you should’ve. It’s a great game.
Lacrosse Baseball is a game where a group of kids, mostly strangers, meet on a field and use their creativity to make up a game with the equipment at their disposal, choose sides, compete, share, laugh, win, lose. And not once do they stop to check their iPhones. And not once does a parent get involved.
I am sure I am not alone when I say that I usually get quite frustrated when my kids are lost in a YouTube stupor. Well, Lacrosse Baseball gave me hope. Hope that the foundations of friendship and play are not totally lost. Hope that creativity is not limited to a touch screen, a keyboard, and a mouse. Hope that there is more to life than a tv, a computer, and an app.
Another nicety was that it was as if we saw each other just yesterday. I’m sure at one point or another my brother thought “God Damn! Doesn’t this guy text or call anymore?” (Yes David, I thought that too). But we picked right up. I hope we'll always know that it doesn’t matter how long it has been. What matters is when we are there.
He asked me how my kids are, so I told him a quick story about my youngest son, John. John doesn’t talk much. Autism is really good at limiting conversation and while we sometimes get a word or two it’s usually a one-word command. ”iPad!” Ugh!!
But the other weekend, when John was with me, I asked him how his job was. The bi-weekly question and answer session usually pisses John off as he is trying to focus on the beautiful calculator that comes pre-loaded on the iPad. I expected the usual “Good” and then the silence that conveys “Get the hell out of my face, Dad.” Instead, I got “Daddy, I put the shoes on the shelves and folded the shirts.”
Can you imagine how my jaw fell on the floor? Holy Shit!!! Where the hell did that come from?
If you know anyone with autism you know that the disability sucks. The impacts on communication and social interactions are so frustrating. (and yes, I’m saying it’s frustrating for me. I’m sure it’s frustrating for John too). So many times, you can almost see the words there, but they just can’t come out.
But then there are times like that weekend where either the words break through, or their unique form of communication really connects and you realize that while it may suck, it’s the way they are and it’s really ok. Times like that give me hope that there is still more to come with John. I hope that his life is as fulfilling for him as “he” wants it to be.
I find I am more aware of, and reflect better on, these life moments we get from time to time. I think a bunch of ups and downs along the way has trained me to notice things a little differently than I had in the past
I hope I will have another fun weekend with my brother soon.
I hope that John will tell me a little more about work when I see him next.
I hope this break gave you a moment to reflect.
I hope you will send me your thoughts and maybe even share this blog with a friend or two.