My nephew Charlie once told me, “I’m all about the lights.” Born on Christmas Day, he knows a thing or two about lights. Christmas is the season of lights. We know a few things about lights, too. Sam was born on the fourth of July – another day full of illumination and festivities. I guess you could say we are a family to bright lights and celebrations.
Since Sam’s first birthday, we’ve had a tradition of watching the fireworks. The beauty of those colors lighting up an intensely dark sky coupled with Sam’s birthday is extra special. Sam thinks every firework shot that night is exclusively for him. Come to think of it, I kind of think so, too.
In the spirit of lights, we have a newer tradition: Autism Awareness Day on April 2. This year will mark our fourth year attending at the UMass Campus.
It’s our kind of event: It’s big. It’s got lights. It illuminates the sky. It relates to us. Perhaps most important of all, Sam relates to it. There's a lot of blue and Sam's favorite color is blue. Like the fourth of July, he is convinced those blue lights are just for him. And they are for him. We’ve come to see this night not as a “celebration” of autism but rather as a celebration of our Sam.
Every child deserves to feel celebrated. For that reason we've instilled in Sam that he is everything we want him to be. He deserves that security; that affirmation he is loved. That knowledge within our home he defines joy and perfection.
April 2nd is our opportunity to send that message once again loud and clear to Sam by attending the Autism Awareness event at UMass. With old friends and new friends and friends we’ve yet to meet we will remember to honor all that is right in our world beginning with Sam.
We hope you’ll come.
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