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'I'm Going to Be Different! Just Wait and See!'

My baby, the spaceman!

We learned our son was special sometime during his second year! We didn't quite understand how special at that point and, in retrospect, we should have figured it out quite a bit sooner...but with him being our first and only being 19, we honestly thought that all babies could talk in full sentences and comprehend complex ideas by one. We now have a 20-month-old as well as our six-year-old, and he is slowly teaching us that WE WERE WRONG! When our oldest turned one, we took away the bottle and binkie, just like we were told was best, and HE decided that we would send them to a little boy who needed them more than him and that was that; no more bottles no more binkies. Like I said, our youngest is 20 months and our six-year-old likes to tell me that we should have saved his for baby brother because boy does he need them when they go away! 

As much as I could talk about both of my beautiful wonderful boys, we are here to introduce you to my oldest. Like I mentioned before, at two years old is when we got a tiny glimpse at just how special he was, is, and will be. He never really played as a baby; he didn't like kids his age or younger, but boy, was he a snuggle bug! We knew he was smart, but this is the story of how we learned just how smart he actually was!

We were watching the news one morning and they were talking about the Mars mission and the volunteers they needed for the first trip. My son asked if he could go and I told him no and explained how they weren't coming back and then quickly changed the reason to him being too little. He went along with my little excuse for a while, but was upset that he wouldn't be the first. Later that night, he asked why they weren't coming back...I told him I would tell him in the morning and figured he would forget. I was wrong...I opened my eyes the next morning and "why aren't they coming back?" So I sat up, ready to come up with an excuse and saw my two-year-old son sitting there criss-cross applesauce with half the solar system drawn on a piece of cardboard, with one line drawn from Earth's moon to Mars. I asked what he had and he eagerly said "you first!" 

So I told him "Earth's gravity is too much to be able to send gas to come back...What's that?" His eyes grew ten times their normal size and he jumped up, shoving the drawing in my face and exclaimed

"So they should take off from the ISS! Cause the moon's gravity is lower!" 

Now you have to understand, we had NEVER talked to him about this before...EVER! I was shocked that he drew the first few planets and the moon...so I rubbed my eyes and got up and told him, "The ISS isn't on the moon...people haven't been there sense before mommy and daddy were born," and went to go make breakfast and do morning stuff. I got to the stove and turned around to find my confused looking two-year-old staring at his drawing and then back up at me. Before I knew it, he threw the cardboard blueprints at my feet and screamed

"IF YOUR SPECIES WOULD JUST BUILD A SPACE STATION ON THE MOON, THEY COULD COME HOME! I SWEAR, HUMANS ARE THE STUPIDEST BEINGS!" 

And he stomped off to our room. I stood there, dumbfounded, for a good ten minutes! I dropped it and figured he heard it somewhere or something, and we went about our day. That night, the sky was clear and he asked me to show him Mars. I told him I didn't think we could see it and showed him Andromeda instead, and his eyes grew wide again, and he looked at me and back up and asked:

"So if humans are just going to Mars, that means nobody has been there?" 

"Ya, that's a very long ways away!"

"I'm going there!" He said it with such commitment, "I'm going to be different, mom! Just you wait and see!" 

I'll never forget that moment. Turns out he is different. Obviously he hasn't left our galaxy...but he fills our house with out of this world thoughts and ideas on a daily basis and every night I get to go to bed knowing that my baby is different in all the best ways. If you haven't guessed by now, my oldest is on the autism spectrum. He started school this year, has started thinking about his future, and, unfortunately, noticed that he is different than his peers. My mission, not only as a mother, but also as a writer, is to educate the public about the spectrum, and hopefully broaden future opportunities for not only my son, but other kids on the spectrum, through sharing the funny, quirky things that he does on an almost daily basis that makes them "different."

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