Nothing is wasted.

13699949_1196069233771658_2424505339790816135_n As you do on your birthday, Liam opened his cards and gifts from our family, including a card from his Great Auntie Carol and Uncle John, who live in England. Auntie Carol had written “Liam the Brave” on the inside of his card, and while we all knew the significance of those three words, Liam listened and then kept on with his birthday treats.

The next evening at dinner, I saw Liam staring off at something and then he asked “I am brave?”. I looked around and saw that he was staring at the card that Auntie Carol had sent him and I was overcome with shock that Liam had remembered the specific words that were written for him in that card. Later on, I asked everyone in the family if anyone had read the card to him that day or referred to him as “Liam the Brave” that day and no one had. He had just remembered the words from the day before. He remembered the words that were read to him while he was surrounded with excitement and balloons, and a sister wanting to get into his gifts and the anticipation of what was wrapped up for him. It may not seem like a big deal, but if we’re honest this can be a tricky task for any of us, but for someone on the spectrum that deals with language processing issues or sensory distractions, it’s a major accomplishment.

I’ve not been able to get that moment out of my mind since last night. We deemed Liam, “The Brave” 4 years ago. I mean, he has his own hashtag for crying out loud. {#socialmedia #liamthebrave} I’ve hung banners and prints with the words “Brave” in his room. We’ve whispered to him how brave he is countless times. But to hear him acknowledge it, and wonder about it, and listen to us discuss this word that has defined him for the last 4 years….it was one of those moments.

It was one of those moments when you remember, yet again, that nothing is wasted. That our words breathe life, and hold more power than we will ever know. That hanging silly handmade banners with words on them in your children’s rooms matter. They WILL eventually comprehend what that means. It may look different for you than it does for us, but that’s the glory about celebrating the little things. You realize that all your unique “little efforts” that you’ve worked so hard on for days or months or years MATTER. The birthday card from Auntie Carol was used as the defining moment, but all the years of us acknowledging Liam’s bravery and saying it over him and surrounding him with it, made the difference.

So. Keep saying the words that matter. Choose the words that breathe life, even though you may not see the change those words and little efforts are making right away. Nothing is wasted. Ever.

Happy 6th Birthday, Liam the Brave.  #liamthebrave #iambrave #nothingiswasted

XO,

Team Oakes