I should have expected the call. To day is Connor's 18th birthday. Chuck never forgets a birthday. We first met Chuck at MedCamps. He reminds me a lot of Nathan. He's big and tall, but gentle at heart. We still see him at Dixie Diehards baseball games. I'm not sure what Chuck's diagnosis is, and don't care. He's a beautiful young man and we've grown to love him dearly.
One thing is for certain. Chuck is a savant. Birthdays and phone numbers are his thing. We sat with him at the Dixie Diehards end of season party. That's how he got our birthdays and my phone number. We told him once. I should have expected the call.
It went like this:
Chuck: Is today yo son birffday?
Me: Yes. Today is Connor's birthday.
Chuck: Well tell him I said happy birffday!
Me: Would you like to tell him yourself?
Amanda takes my phone to Connor.
Chuck: <Sings Happy Birthday>
I don't know what Connor said after this. Amanda said he was gracious, polite, and appreciative. He had a big smile on his face. It takes a lot to touch an 18-year-old boy deep, especially before 7 am. I'm pretty sure this did it. It certainly did it for his parents.
One need not read very far in my "confessions" to see that being NNT (non neurotypical) and raising an NNT child is a "polar" experience. The day-to-day can be grueling and the lows abysmal. In like fashion, the "daily miracles" are unbelievable and the highs rapturous. Among the greatest of the highs is the privilege of walking among beautiful people like Chuck. Each is a unique work of art. Each presents striking beauty and leaves me in awe in his or her own way. None enter this gallery freely. All pay a dear price, NT (neurotypical) and NNT alike. Each encounter with beauty spurs us to march on. Each gives a brief respite from the "cost of admission". On mornings like this, the price almost feels cheap.