When you see this picture of my son Jack, what do you see? Do you see a carefree, 6 year old boy? Do you see a happy kid ready to take a plunge? What you don’t see is the road that it took to get us here. You don’t see the hard work he has put in to be able to allow us to soak up all the happiness that he exudes. You don’t see his disability that could very easily define him, but as you can see from this picture, it does not. Jack was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome in 2014 at the age of 2. Fragile X is a genetic condition and is the leading cause of intellectual disability, genetic autism, sensory processing disorder, ADD, ADHD, extreme anxiety…the list goes on and on. I believe it is safe to say that more tears were shed the week after Jack’s diagnosis then I have ever shed before in my life. But as quickly as the tears came, they soon disappeared and what I thought to be the greatest obstacle in my life has blossomed into the furthest thing from an obstacle. It was simply a door into a world I had no idea existed. A world where Jack has shown all of us how to overcome the “I can’t” attitude. Because, we can. He has shown us a world where we love deeper, laugh louder and try harder.
So, when I look at this picture of Jack I see all the strength and determination that has gone into every single one of his days. I see all the hours spent in Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, Behavior Therapy, Physical Therapy. I see all of the sweat and tears that we as a family have shed. I see all the love and compassion that his brother and twin sister embody, that he clearly feels. What I see when I look at this picture is the story of how we got to where we are. A place where we all work very hard every day, but we see the beauty of all that hard work. When I look at this picture, I love what I see.