Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: Just Wait

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just Wait

Today I stood at the front desk inside Erik's school waiting for the receptionist to feed Erik's immunization record through the copier to prove he received his hepatitis shot last January. I have never talked to this woman before, and she didn't look familiar to me in the slightest, but that's not unusual. I have never been great with names and faces.

When she reappeared behind the desk, she returned the waxy, yellow document to me, and I slowly folded it up to place in the zippered pouch inside my purse. She made small talk by commenting on my organizational skills, and I laughed, knowing that yesterday's crusty breakfast dishes were soaking in my kitchen sink waiting for me when I arrived home. What she did next surprised me. She leaned over the counter, directly into my personal space, as if she were about to reveal a guarded secret.

She said, "You know, Erik is my favorite."

She then explained how he had reached up to tightly grip her hand when it was time for him to board the bus the other day. She described how she let him lead her out the front door and the way he jumped with alarm when the incoming bus hissed loudly to a stop. How he apparently looked up at her and said, "Air brakes." She giggled at the memory, and I smiled back.

I can't count the times I have heard that Erik is somebody's "favorite." I know that people generally love children, but I am beginning to wonder if some of that weird special something in Erik that I have always seen is shining through in a big way and pulling people in. At the beginning of this, I dismissed my amazement, knowing that I do not see things very clearly in my role as his mother. Especially one who has never been around children a heck of a lot. After all, even if he were miserable to be around, I would still believe he was the greatest thing since sliced bread. However, as time passes, I can clearly see the unique effect he has on the people around him. Even the pathologically cranky ones. I am often amazed at the magic that Erik seems to exude. Erik has a confidence I can only dream of.

For people who are new at this Williams syndrome thing, all I can say is JUST WAIT.

Yes, the diagnosis is devastating. I know this well, and it always will be at some level. Yes, it feels as if the world is ending. Hang in there. You will be completely blown away as your personal story unfolds and you dare to open your eyes. As the innocence manifests itself. As the love pours from your child like a river from an almost heavenly spring you cannot see. As you let your defenses fall away and the world sees your child for who he is for the very first time. As little miracles become everyday occurrences. As he touches people who are hurting in places you could never reach with your adult words and your carefully rehearsed, socially acceptable phrases. As he becomes your personal hero. It sounds completely crazy. I know it does.

I wish I could share with you how incredible this experience feels.

For now, there is only one thing I can say.

Just wait.

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12 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

Nancy,
I couldn't agree more with "just wait". Ari knows way more people than I ever will. No matter where we are people want to be with her. Whenever we out around town people who she has met at school adults and children make a point to say hello. And new people fall in love with her instantly. People just "gush"....I often say I don't feel like her mother when we are out about town I feel more like she is Paris Hilton and I am her personal assistant. Seriously Just Wait...couldn't be any more accurate. (But I will say all of this causes her older brother to get a bit annoyed on many occasions)

3:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gua said..
Isn't it wonderful to be where we are... after the diagnosis I began by thinking of who Erik isn't, and who he won't ever be. Now, I look with wonder at who he is and who he will become. Just wait! Erik amazes us every day!
Love, Mom

6:18 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I am starting to see some of it. At first at daycare I thought they just fell all over him for my benefit. Then I started to see when all the classes were in the playground how the older kids loved him. Their teachers even told me that they ask if he will be out there. The clincher was the other day when a new employee said, "oh your Noah's mom?" and I waited thinking here come the questions and she said, "everyone just loves him, teachers and kids" she said she had never seen anything like it. It does make you feel good.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Katie said...

Funny isnt it. How this syndrome can take so much away and yet at the same time exposes us to the very essence of what we all wish we could be. It makes you see the important things and realise how very blessed we are to have been shown.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I will admit, I really thought the 'magic', for lack of a better description, would wear off as Michaela got older, that it wouldn't be as cute in an older kid. Thankfully, I couldn't have been more wrong. She just pulls everyone in with that charm of hers.
You're so right...just wait, it gets even better!!

9:07 AM  
Blogger Kerry said...

I hear you - it is true over here too. Brady is always the "one" evern though it took him 14 months to smile, people warmed to him instantly. They definitely have some kind of radar~ :)

12:56 PM  
Blogger Kerry said...

PS Did I ever tell you Eric is my favorite? :)

My Michael is very happy you put up the video too :). He loves your little guy.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Aspen said...

I too get stopped in local grocery stores and such with whispers of "I just love your little guy!" People I have never before seen. HA! I try to push aside my creepiness and enjoy the sweetness about it. Our angels truly do have a little extra something that just beams out of their little bodies. So many more hearts are soon to be full up with love for our little ones.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Well said and so true, Nancy.Our kiddos are so special. I so enjoy your BLOG.
Gina

6:03 PM  
Blogger jbgrinch said...

Have a great Thanksgiving

8:08 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I can so relate to this post. I just want to whole world to meet Avery because she somehow touches everyone in her own way. I regularly have people who recognize her in stores we frequent, out in public, etc. It is such a gift to be her mom. Love, Amy

7:54 AM  
Blogger CP said...

My former step brother (yeah I know it sounds strange.) Has WS. He was always everyones favorite, everyone in high school knew him and was friends with him, everyone he worked with at Wal-Mart. Anyone who knew BJ loved him. I've read a few entries in your blog and I'd like to say that despite the struggles he's facing your son is amazing and beautiful. A true gift from God. There is a line in a poem that BJ's father liked and I've had a copy of it on my fridge for years.
"I asked God to make my handicapped child whole,
God said, No.
His Spirit is whole, his body temporary"

God Bless

1:33 PM  

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