Time is a Thief

Twenty months old. That’s how old you were when we welcomed your sister into our family.

You wouldn’t go near her at first, and even now you rarely act like you notice her.

Leading up to her arrival everyone would ask if you were excited to have a baby sister.

They would ask if you showed interest in my growing belly.

You didn’t notice it one bit. It didn’t phase you even a little.

They would talk about how fun it would be to have two so close in age. How you grow up to be best friends.

They would remind me how time was a thief and to cherish every moment. And they were right.

Time was a thief. And so was autism.

Both were slowly stealing away everything that I had imagined these last nine months would be. 

Fast forward to today. Your sister is now 20 months old.

The exact same age you were when she was born.

Santa brought her a baby doll for Christmas. Oh she loves her ‘baba’. 

She pretends to change her diaper exclaiming that she’s ‘wet’ with a heavy emphasis on the ‘t’ sound.

She tucks her in with a dishtowel she snagged from the kitchen and tells her ‘nigh nigh’ leaving off the ‘t’ sound this time.

She gives her baby big loves (hugs) like she often does with us, and you when you’ll allow it.

Oh the difference 20 months can make when autism isn’t playing the thief. 

Before your diagnosis, before we knew there was something more than a speech delay; we had decided a second child would complete our family.

Complications during delivery meant leaving the OR with one less ovary and fallopian tube. It sealed the deal for us.

Two weeks later we got a referral for an evaluation for autism.

Once again, time is a thief. That blissful newborn postpartum stage was stolen away with a ticking clock to get answers. 

The thing is, time really is a thief. I’m running out of time everyday to teach you everything you need to learn.

I have a numbered amount of days to care for you, to teach you, to help establish life skills to foster your independence. 

I talked with one of your therapists recently and a target we’re working hard on is to make eye contact when someone says your name. 

Who knew that could so challenge. So challenging for you, yet so simple to so many others.

Your lead therapist explained, “This is the first step to building towards being able to say, “Stop, Jaxton” during unsafe behaviors”.

It amazes me how even the smallest skills can be broken into so many steps. So everyday I feel like we are running out of time to fit it all in. 

The countless hours of therapy are paying off. You amaze me everyday with how much you’re learning.

Your sister claps for you anytime we celebrate your wins; she runs to your bedroom door the minute she hears you wake up, she is becoming your biggest fan.

What a gift these last 20 months have been. 

I pray countless hours that as time passes your sister will step up to am your protector and advocate.

I pray you’ll live a fulfilling life as independently as possible.

I pray tirelessly that your sister will continue to see how amazing you are for years to come.

See, one-day time will take that away from me too.

It will rob me of being your safe space. It will steal from me the ability to keep you safe, and my ability to protect you.

Time is a thief takes on an entirely different meaning when it’s your own days that are numbered.

Written by, Monique Humphries

I’m a south Georgia mama to two beautiful babies. My husband and I have been on a wild ride with our little guy, but we’re figuring it out day by day. Our little girl loves her ‘bubba’ so much, and so do we.

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Finding Cooper's Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you're never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village....all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to my page!

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