Rebel Daddy: Rebel Daddy, Chris, is a very private person, so I have to be careful what I share here. Face to face he is an open book, and would tell you his life story if you would listen, or if he thought it would help, but put that in writing and he gets a little cagey. He has a heart of gold, but he hides it sometimes. I understand why. He cannot drive by some old lady with a flat, or a lost dog, or anyone in distress, with out stopping to fix their problem, even when it causes him his own problems. That is his gift, fixing things. He has magic in his hands, I think. We met when we were just children really, in art class, designing logos for our initials. His logo was very precise with these perfectly clean, strait, lines, and in stark contrast, mine was very round and fluid. Years later, we took a basket weaving class (yes, he is the kind of guy who would gladly take a basket weaving class and it would only strengthen his manhood because he is after all a Rebel Soul) and he picked up these reeds and made an incredibly crafted, awe inspiring, basket. Right there, first shot. All the other students just dropped their jaw. He saw the numbers, and math, and the rhythm of how to make sticks into a vessel. He is also a very dedicated Father to our boys, like so absolutely devoted that he got up for every night feeding in their first year. He says he always dreamed of having children. He says he always knew that they would be different. Probably since he was once a child himself.
Rebel Max: Max, my first born son, he is a firecracker in the flesh. Think intensity. Always on the go, he is putting his world together at warp speed, and faster, and faster. He loves people, and when I say love, I mean love all the way. The minute he learned the word "Hi" he just had to say it to every person in the grocery store. If we go to the park, he is lonely until flocks of other children arrive. He'll be your best friend in a flash of his crooked smile. He also loves dogs, particularly our dog Shrimp Scampi, cars, food, music, books, nature and money (the old fashion kind that you can count, sort, and line up). He is so incredibly intelligent, and his Rebel spirit defies even the spectrum in many, amazing, ways. While all these things are wonderful, Max also struggles with severe anxiety like no other three year old I have seen. He releases it in the form of anger. He will tell you, "No!" in a hundred different ways. This isn't the typical toddler kind of defiance, this is Aspergers, and he controls as much as he possibly can, because that world of his, which he is putting together far too quickly, in his mind, is complete chaos.When I look around, I see his point. It all comes in, the sights, sounds, smells, images, colors, lights, voices, patterns, textures, movement, and all at once, with no filter to check. He misses nothing, and that is painfully hard on him. What frightens me the most, is that his disability is almost invisible, at first glance, and that is a reckless prejudice to have to overcome in this life. I have no doubt, however, that he will, and he will blaze a path for others to follow, because this kid is something special.
Rebel Ty: Ty, is my dreamer boy. He would swing right over the world, if we let him, or stay and sway in a hammock, looking up at the palm trees, finding patterns and shapes that most human beings' eyes were never meant to see. Ty loves books most of all, and he is slowly, and methodically, putting his world together through them. The first words he spoke, were reciting pages of a picture book to me, at 10 months old, so I breathed this big sigh of relief because even that young I had my deep down suspicions, but then we didn't hear another word for nearly a year. When he did begin to really talk, it really wasn't talking at all, he sang, and he sang beautifully. Ty soon revealed to us that he knew the words to all his books, and the letters of the alphabet, and numbers, and colors, and shapes, and hundreds of animals, and every nursery rhyme ever spoken, and somewhere along the way, we figured out that he was too smart to be typical. At the same time, he had not yet learned to say "Mommy," and that is Classic Autism.We were driving home from a very challenging experience, and I already had tears in my eyes, when he said it for the first time; "All Mommies want you to be who you are." A line from a book, but so piercingly appropriate in our reality, and that is his way. Within the week, he had figured out all of my names, Heather, Mommy, Mom, Mama, Mother...Ty is as atypical as it gets, and lovely because of it. I cannot pretend to predict this kid's future in any way, except to say that he will live a beautiful life, because beauty is what fuels his fire.