The Spark of a Dream


Most kids start talking about what they want to be when they grow up as preschoolers. My Paulie never did. It probably shouldn’t have burdened me so, but it did. With a special needs kid, I am very careful not to look into the future too far. For good and bad reasons. I can find myself mourning losses that aren’t lost yet and as he grows Paul continues to burst out of any expectations that people have ever placed on him. Praise God for that! When Paul wouldn’t talk about what he wanted to be, it felt like maybe the future truly was bleak, whether I decided to look into it or not. He’s awkward with his peers, has some social struggles, and had speech problems as a child… but the one thing that loomed over me was that he didn’t want to be anything when he grew up.

There’s something tangible about behaviors. They are something you can put your finger on. They are something you can set goals toward and work on. What goes on in my child’s mind, isn’t any of those things. Knowing that Paulie has different thought processes than me made it even more difficult to bear.

Every night we have snuggle time.  It’s where everyone gets to pick an uplifting song on YouTube, we all state what our favorite part of the day was, and choose 5 things we’re thankful for, and then take turns praying. At snuggle time this evening, when it was Paul’s turn to tell us what his favorite part of the day was, I fully expected it to be our trip to Costco as he loves samples and we had ice cream. Instead, he said school work and he threw in “and I really mean it” because he knew I would question it. Lol! He shared with us that he worked on science and social studies today (we home school and have a self-paced program, as long as they complete their goals each week they get to pick what they work on each day). I knew that he had zoomed through his work, as he usually does with those two books. He told me that he loves science.

And then he said… “Mom, I think I want to be a chemist.”

He’s 14, so I tried really hard to play it cool. I suck at that. But, I told him that I love science too and that I was so excited and happy for him and told him what a great chemist that he would be. I told him of a chemistry major that goes to our church. His eyes lit up as he spoke.

Ya’ll, I can’t even type this without crying.

I often find myself catching up with God. I share that a lot with people I speak to. I pray for things and God does them, and I’m often so taken aback or so oblivious that it takes me months to catch on. But this time, there was none of that. This was an explosion of an answer to prayer and I am ready.

I finally got the opportunity to witness evidence that Paulie is dreaming of his future, and in that I am SO VERY SATISFIED.