This past gray and wet Sunday, our small family ventured out under our big umbrellas to try out a new local brunch place.

Finally, we are past the point of having to go to McDonald’s, which Brooks clearly prefers. These days, our preferences carry some weight, because our son is no longer the lost little boy who needs us to spend every waking moment figuring out how to help him.

For the first time ever, we don’t have to explain his challenges because they are no longer very apparent. We don’t have to explain that he’s smart; anyone who meets Brooks sees it for themselves. The kid that we used to have to imagine in our minds is finally emerging, and we keep pinching ourselves to make sure we’re not dreaming.

At school this week, for the first time, he ate in the cafeteria and liked it so much he didn’t want to leave. At home, more discoveries: Brooks and a friend had a full back-and-forth conversation — one that included asking for, and considering, the other child’s opinion.

He sold school raffle tickets at my office, he tells stories that last longer than our attention span, and the other day I caught him overflowing with joy when he watched Nemo and his dad reunite and swim to each other as fast as they could. Brooks gets it. And I can’t begin to describe how good it feels to watch him get it.

Brunch was nice. Brooks ordered off the kids’ menu, ate his scrambled eggs and toast, and with his good behavior, earned his chocolate ice cream for dessert. My husband and I sipped our coffees and watched the falling rain. Instead of going shopping, we decided to go home and continue our lazy day. Brooks was fine with the last-minute change of plans and said: “Look at it outside: it’s disgusting! Let’s go home.”

The forecast is rain all week long. I couldn’t care less.


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