Special Boy!!! by JoAnn

Colorful puzzle ribbon as symbol autism awareness

In January 2015, my first and only grandson was born. I drove almost 7 hours in my best friend’s old farm truck to be at Lane’s birth. My daughter Robin had a backbreaking labor. When I arrived at the hospital, I was taken aback at what a critical condition she was in. My son-in-law David and her sister Christine had been by her side through a long, difficult night. They looked worried and exhausted. I have to admit, I was very concerned the moment I saw Robin. It is evident that if this baby wasn’t born very soon, we may have an emergency on our hands. I went to my daughter’s bedside and began to say a prayer. Just as I was finishing my prayer, the doctor literally busted through the door and said, “OK, time to have a baby!” Thank God, that is what I was thinking.

In a matter of minutes, with all of us gathered around Robin, she gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. Our Lane was here. He was the picture of health. Robin’s coloring quickly returned, and she looked like the crisis had passed. My daughter was back. Thank God, again. Many months of pure joy followed for our family. Lane was the first boy to be born into a bunch of girls. He was spoiled before he ever greeted the world.

A couple of years went by, and we began to notice that Lane wasn’t making his milestones like he should. Mostly, he was not talking. We didn’t worry much about it at first. After all, boys don’t develop as fast as girls; everyone knows that. We kept hoping that it was something that would just pass. But it didn’t. More red flags began to emerge as time went on. Lane didn’t handle loud noise well, and meltdowns began in restaurants, stores, or school ball games.

Many questions, doctor visits, tests, and sleepless nights later, Lane was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum. It was so much clearer to see now why our special boy was struggling. But it wasn’t all bad news. It was quickly noticed, beyond a doubt, that Lane was very intelligent. He just needed to make his journey through life in a different way than most people consider normal. He was also physically very healthy and hitting every milestone in that area. There were indeed many blessings to be counted in this new, challenging world called Autism.

A lot of things have happened in the last eight years, both hurdles and monumental accomplishments for my grandson. He continues to progress on his own time and makes all of us so proud. He is a very happy, loving child. He has made friends in school, has passed each grade, and has given this family more joy than any other emotion.

I can’t take credit for any of Lane’s accomplishments. I don’t live with him 24/7 like his mommy, daddy, and two older sisters do. They are the ones who should receive all the praise. They have patiently walked Lane through every scary, anxious, and sometimes debilitating storm that he has faced. They have spent days, weeks, months, even years working with him to pass those life tests and learn how to manage them permanently. I have never seen so much love, patience, and hard work on behalf of a child as I have seen in my grandson’s little family. And I could not be prouder.

My grandson, whom I have always called “My Little Prince,” is on his way to becoming a loving, kind, and talented young man. I have no doubt that Lane will continue to grow for the rest of his life and will always find the happiness he deserves.

As I sit in my daughter Robin’s home, quietly listening to their gentle talks with Lane or how they calmly explain something to him when he is anxious, my heart bursts with pride. Who is the luckiest kid of all to have a family like Lane does? Or is it all of us who are the lucky ones to have a special boy like Lane in our lives? It’s both. We are all blessed beyond measure!

1 Comment

  1. Tommy on January 1, 2024 at 9:27 am

    Such a wonderful tribute to my great-grandson. I love you JoAnn ❤️…dad

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