Noah’s special needs gymnastics class is a big hit with him. It was there that I caught the very moment he hit one of those milestones that I thought somehow Noah would never hit, the “Hands off, I can do it myself” milestone. He stepped up on the balance beam, and as I extended my hand to help him balance, he swatted it away and very emphatically said “No!” Part of me wanted to stop him and say, “Hey, you can’t do that. You need me, darn it,” and part of me was cheering with gusto, “Go, Noah, go!” But all of me was in awe of this little boy with a mind of his own who is doing and will do great things with this life God gave him. It all did serve to put me in my place and remind me that God’s got a plan for Noah’s life separate and apart from me. Humbling and exciting all at the same time!
Somehow I’ve always pictured Noah at 30, still happy to take my hand and needing my help and reassurance at every juncture. Honestly, I am always so touched to see the mamas of grown men with Down syndrome happily holding their hands as they meander through the mall or parking lot or where ever I happen to see them.
But laughingly then I also have to think of Matt, one of my heroes with Down syndrome who at age 30 is tattooed, loves a good margarita and is trying very diligently to kick a nasty cigarette habit. Don’t get me wrong, Matt LOVES LOVES LOVES his mom, and perhaps he holds her hand from time to time, but I’m having a hard time picturing it.
Who will Noah grow up to be? I don’t know, but I’m starting to sense he is going to be more than just an extension of me. I know, I know, y’all already knew that. Intellectually, of course, I always knew that, but it’s one thing to know something intellectually and another to be able to visualize it. Well, I just got a Poloroid snapshot of that little dose of reality. And I like it fine, just fine.
Rock on, Noah! I’m straggling behind you, but I’m coming just as fast as I can.