I don't have to look at a map anymore. I just know it.

We had Alan over to our house for dinner on July 4th. He was very quiet - unusually so. No pacing, talking, clapping. He was able to talk with us, have a great conversation. We cherish moments like this.

As we sat at the dinner table, eating his favorites - barbeque, corn on the cob, squash - we started talking about our upcoming vacation to Wichita, KS. Alan spoke up.

"Dad, I've been thinking. We could take 412 West to Interstate 35, then go north to Wichita. That's the route I think we should take."

There was a moment of silence.

"Alan, that's a great idea," my husband replied. "That's exactly what we will do!"

Alan spent most of his childhood studying maps, particularly the US interstate system. He hasn't looked at a map in a while, so I asked if he had been studying maps to figure this out.

"You know I just know this, Mom," Alan said seriously. "I don't have to look at a map anymore. I just know it."

Wow. I guess that's the way it is with us. We don't have to look at a map anymore to know how things can go with our son. We know he will have days of perfect clarity, days of diminished ability to interact, days of manic activity, days of withdrawal and silence. We've been studying the map for a long time. This is life with Alan. I felt a certain peace about our day to day walk through this life.

I don't have to look at a map anymore. I just know it.


  1. I can just hear him making those comments! What a great story and a great analogy.


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