For those of you who might not know, the Red Sox are in the World Series right now. Living in Boston, it's hard to believe there are those of you in parts of the US or the world who might not be aware of that. We are a Red Sox Nation family. With the Sox, it's not even so much being fans. Loving the Sox is more than that. It's part of you. And our family by fate keeps getting intertwined with the Sox. Freddy worked this past summer for NESN, the station that broadcasts most of the regular season games, and he met a lot of players. Tony used to work for the ticket office of the Sox when I first met him, and we got to go to the Red Sox Christmas party, an amazing event. We used to work with a relative of Mo Vaughn, and got to go to quite a few games and sit with the players' families. And of course, I grew up in Maine, solid Sox country. Every summer, the game was on everyplace. It was always there, in the background. It meant the most when my grandfather was watching. He was old enough to remember the World Series win in 1918, and I wish more than anything he could have been alive in 2004. But that's enough Sox talk. I'm setting a background here for last night, as Tony, Freddy, Janey and I watched Game 4.
We had to turn off Kipper to put on the Sox on the "big TV" in the living room. It's a sign of Janey's progress that we were able to do so feeling fairly sure that if she was upset by that, she'd get over it pretty quickly, and she did. She likes it when we all are together, having fun and being loud, so she was enjoying the game for that reason. She doesn't get baseball, much, but lately she's been very interested in a plastic wiffle ball and bat, and asks Tony all the time to "play baseball", which means he has to hit the ball and she watches. We did that a little during the game, and got her to scream "Go, Sox!" and in general just were enjoying ourselves.
Then something prompted me to sing the beginning of "Away in a Manger". I'm not sure why, because I try to save Christmas songs for at least after October. Janey loves Christmas music, more than almost anything, and me singing the first line was enough for her to start singing the rest. She sang the second line, and then the song switched to "America the Beautiful" She sang a line or two, and then Freddy jumped in when she stopped, singing another line. They went back and forth like that for the whole song. Both of them have amazing voices---Freddy's is deep and rich, and Janey's high and pure. As I listened, the tears came, rolling down my face uncontrollably. And I thought "This is perfect. This moment right now, with the game on and my kids singing together---it's a moment from a dream. It's a moment from the dream we all have of being a parent, the moment where absolutely nothing could be better" And thinking back, what strikes me is what was absent. I wasn't thinking "This is perfect when considering Janey's autism". At that moment, her autism wasn't a factor in any way. It wasn't perfect with a footnote, or perfect with a "considering..." It was just perfect. No matter what the future brings, no matter what the past has held, autism has no dominion over moments like that.