Sometimes when he gets excited, he flaps his arms uncontrollably. People may stare, but I see a boy ready to take flight. Sometimes, even when the boy with brilliant eyes of blue cannot see me, I think the soul within recognizes me. He is my nephew, Jack. He's autistic. Some do not understand the brilliance that swirls in his head -- a Jackson Pollock canvas in the brain. I, however, see the maestro in all his colors. And even in a diagnosis that weighs on us, all anger and frustration can be easily removed with a single, beautiful giggle.

Kathryn DeVito


My son asks once again whether I will drive him the quarter-mile to school, though it's beautiful outside. "My backpack is so heavy!" he complains, and I have to admit, a sixth-grade backpack weighs a ton. I am about to remind him of the miles I trekked, on skis, in snow, to school each day growing up in Canada, when I think of all he's been through, these last few years: the divorce, the move, my working more.

I make him walk to school. But I forgo the history lesson.

Kayle Simon


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