Exceptional Parent: "Wisdom of a Child"

Family friend Lee-Ellen Pisauro shared with me a warm piece she had featured in this month’s edition of Exceptional Parent, a magazine for parents of children or young adults with disabilities.

The mag doesn’t share it’s content online, so I thought I would – it’s brief and isn’t losing them a darn dime.

The Wisdom of a Child

By Lee-Ellen Pisauro

My four-year-old son, Steven, is wise beyond his years. His faith is so strong. His belief in “the good” does not waiver.

When my second son, Sam, was born, friends and family members assured my husband and me that Steven was the perfect big brother for Sam. After all, he is so gentle, loving and compassionate. I was sure everyone said this to take the sting away from the diagnosis. Sam was born with Down syndrome.

As Sam’s second birthday approached, we talked about party plans, birthday cake, and, of course, the perfect gift. Our discussion wound like a maze, and we found ourselves recounting Sam’s many accomplishments. To others, these milestones may not have seemed worth discussing. But to our family, they were huge! We learned to never take for granted a single smile, sitting up independently, or grasping for a toy. We understood these were all steps to a greater future.

I can remember wondering what Sam’s voice would like as we had not yet heard a single word. I guess my concern was transparent even to a four-year-old. Steven assured me that Sam would talk when he was two. I couldn’t imagine how this would be possible because Sam was barely babbling, his second birthday only a few weeks away. I asked Steven why he was so sure that Sam would talk. I was not ready for his response.

He replied, “God – He can do anything, and I’ve been talking to Him. So don’t worry, Mommy. Sam will talk.”

Sam spoke volumes on his second birthday. He didn’t use words, but his smile and the sparkle in his eyes told an incredible story. So now, I am filled with the wisdom of a four-year-old. I know Sam will talk – in his own time.

Author’s note: It has been two years since I wrote “The Wisdom of a Child.” Sam is now four-years-old. He is enrolled in a full-day preschool program, and he is thriving. He loves playing outside, listening to music, and anything Steven is doing. Sam was recently diagnosed with a speech disorder called verbal apraxia. He uses sign language to communicate and does so very effectively. Every day, we are one step closer to hearing his voice!

Any thoughts?