For two years I have spent 3 afternoons a week with one amazing child. He was five when we met. He is blind, has autism, loves Tom Petty and is going to change the world.
Today is my last day working with him. I am going to disconnect from all social networking and my cell phone for the next few hours so he can have my undivided attention as we take our last trip together.
Today is his last day as my client, but tomorrow will be the first day I can officially call him my friend.
I believe I may have posted this once before, but this is a sestina I wrote about him.
He places his warm little hand
around your wrist. He rolls his eyes
and closes them. They serve little purpose
and so he closes them. He places
your hand in his. He wraps his small
fingers around yours. For this moment you
are his security. For today you
protect him. With his soft, child’s hand
he puts his faith in you. His small
body is yours to protect. His eyes
are unable to guide him in this place.
He trusts your eyes instead. Your sole purpose
is to keep him safe. You purposefully
squeeze his hand, assuring him you
have him. You can protect him in this place,
this world of obstacles. His other hand
reaches ahead of him for what his eyes
do not see. As you walk his small
mouth moves constantly. Questions. His small
world expanding with each answer. Perhaps his purpose
in this small body with its faulty eyes
was to force you to see. To open your eyes. You
have changed since this boys’ hand
first held yours. You meant to find his place
in society. Instead he showed you a new place.
He changed you. This precious boy, this small
child reached out and took your hand.
He changed your life. He gave you purpose.
And you will never be the same. You
have seen the world through his eyes.
The eyes that have failed him since birth, the eyes
that frustrate him, have somehow placed
a welcome burden on you. You
smile at this boy, a tear and a small
smile he can’t see. You know his purpose –
that he is changing the world – with his hands
and his eyes, he is changing everything,
and your place is here, your purpose is to take his small
hand and let him guide you through the world.