Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cat and Dog (09/04/14)
- TITLE: At The Movies
By Julie Berry
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I wasn’t sure what would happen. I knew something was a little different. We wouldn’t find out “officially” for three more years. Blissful ignorance but with an under current of something’s off.
Jacob was slower to roll over, pull up, crawl, walk than his brothers. But the language. He was making complete sentences at the ripe old age of one.
And the floor. As soon as he could sit up, he would crawl onto the edge of the kitchen tile floor and take object after object and drop it. Cookie, toy, sock, shoe, whatever. Everything was bounced off the floor. We couldn’t figure it only until in one glorious moment we realized he was listening. It was the sound. He wanted to know what everything sounded like when it hit the tile.
And here we were. I was taking him to his first movie, “Cats and Dogs”. I didn’t know what to expect. Would the surround sound frighten him, would he panic when the lights went down? Would he spend the whole movie dropping popcorn on the floor?
One thing was certain. Jacob didn’t experience the world around him the way others did. Asperger’s Syndrome. The diagnosis that was handed down in first grade. We weren’t there yet. Today he was only three but I knew I had to keep an eye on him. I’m his dad. I just want him to enjoy it, to love it. I wanted to watch him smile and laugh. But the fear and concern hovered over my head like a dark cloud.
Lights dimmed. He looks at me. “It’s okay”, I whisper in his ear. Kids and parents surround us patiently watching the previews as we await the beginning of the movie.
Finally, the credits roll and the action begins. I start to turn my head to take a peek and make sure he’s okay but a sudden movement out of the corner of my eye causes me to jerk around in panic. “Oh no”, I thought. “Here we go!”
Jacob rose to his feet. Pointed his hand towards the screen and proudly and excitedly announced to all who would hear – “I see cat! I see dog!” With that, he was back in his seat and once again entranced in the sights and sounds that danced before his young eyes. I smiled and relaxed.
Years later, when the struggle with Asperger’s Syndrome seemed a mountain too big to conquer, I remembered that day. When the uncertainty of the future seemed to overwhelm, God gently reminded me that fear of a movie years ago was totally unfounded as a precious little boy, my son Jacob, experienced the wonder of “cat and dog” just like all the other kids in the theater that day. We would make it. Jacob would be okay. One movie, two simple sentences -- a constant reminder that God is our refuge and totally in control.
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