Several week ago the boys were all outside playing enjoying the spring sunshine and warm temperatures. I went out to the backyard to see what everyone was doing. The bigger boys were playing on the tree swing and the 2 W's were playing in the sandbox. I didn't see Jonathan, so I began to scan the backyard for him. Then I saw him over in the neighbors yard, playing by himself.
Jonathan was sitting in the tall grass, very content with the evening sun shining down on his back.
I stood watching in wonder of what he was doing, and what he was thinking. With a yard filled with boys only 100 ft away and so much boy noise I couldn't understand how he could sit alone, almost as if he were the only person around for miles. (at this point I went in for my camera)
I observed his facial expressions and his fascination with the grass and the way it moved.
As I got closer I heard him speaking to the grass and smiling, as his hands ran back and forth throughout the grass.
Now I was close enough to see Jonathan was holding a flower or as some would call it a weed.
I waited to see if my presence there would disturb this peaceful moment, it didn't he continued as if I were invisible.
His hand held the flower so gently as he chanted the same words over and over.
How simple how sweet was this time he was having, feeling no need for a ball, bat, swing, or man-made invention. He was savoring nature a wonderful gift from the Creator.
He continued to play like this for a little over an hour, the sun was now beginning to set.
Jonathan then looked up at me with open hands to reveal his treasure. To me it would have looked more like a weed, but not to him. To Jonathan it was like a gem and the sparkle in his eyes told of the delight that was placed in his heart for the simple things. Again I was blessed by looking through Jonathan's eyes, seeing how much of "real life" we miss by being in a hurry.
We are often ask questions about Jonathan. The questions range from, at what level does he function? Or, do you think he will be able to do more one day? When Jonathan was born Arthur and I had high hopes that Jonathan would be on the mild end of Down Syndrome. Our biggest concern was communication knowing that others seem to accept those who communicate well. We wanted Jonathan to speak clearly, thinking that would help others to see past the fact he had Ds. Well, 11 1/2 years later we have very different story than the one we thought we would have. Jonathan is in the moderate range for kids with Ds. He speaks about 50 words and only 25 to 30 would everyone understand, still wears pull ups (but we are making lots of progress), has a feeding tube, uses a CPAP mask, has mild hearing loss, can't write his name, ride a bike, sing, tie his shoes, and the list goes on. Now their are lots of things he can do like sign many words, shower himself, fold laundry,knows his colors, brush his teeth, hum a song, help in the kitchen, color, play/watch his baby sister, swing himself, work puzzles, find joy in the simple things that's just to name a few.
On bad days Jonathan is much like a 3 yr old and on the good he is more in the ball park of 5 or 6 years old. By world standards that may not seem like much, but to us we know of the mountains he has overcome to reach where he is today. Jonathan is also a daily reminder of life being lived in a simple fashion, one not bogged down with the weight of this world. He has been given a gift with eyes and a heart like Christ. These are the things we see in Jonathan and they all come so natural for him....
Fruits of the Spirit
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, self-control.
We are ever so thankful for being blessed with Jonathan as our son. Through him Christ has opened our eyes to a world in which we may have never seen.