This is a speech I wrote for my sister-in-law when our darling nephew graduated from his SPED class; now, he's part of the regular Pre-K class in his school. We have been part of their family's journey, and indeed, when you shower a child with love instead of judgment, you can see who he or she truly is - a child of God.
Seven years ago, my family was blessed with a baby boy; he was such a treasure so my family and I fell in-love with him right away. But as he grew up, we noticed that he would not maintain any eye contact and preferred to climb and stay by the windows. He would also run around the house screaming, and often, he would bite his arm in depression. He would also ignore his toys and chose to play with random household items.
My initial thought was just, “Boys will be boys”.
Soon, bringing him to a new place was a challenge since he would cry, scream around, and climb on the furniture. He would just stare at the television regardless if anything was shown or not. He refused to play like the other kids, and it really broke my heart.
I wanted him to be like other babies who would coo and babble. I wanted him to look at me in the eye and say, “mommy”. I want him to be like other boys who would ride their bikes, fly kites, and play tag outside. I wanted him to watch TV with the rest of the household in peace.
I knew something was really different with our son. It was a rollercoaster feeling of sadness, denial, and frustration.
The more I have wanted him to be like the other kids his age, the more that I have failed to see who he really is --- our darling little boy. He gives the biggest hugs, the warmest kisses, the kindest smiles, the most contagious laughter, and the most sincere I love you’s. He dotes on his little sister and loves her to the moon and back. He’s that curious little boy who’s always eager to test his limits to know what else is there for him before giving everyone a heart attack. He gets excited in almost everything and can’t wait to try his hands on basically anything. He’s the favourite nephew who never gets tired of giving kisses and receiving lots and lots of love and attention from his titos and titas. Truth be told, he’s our precious little boy who makes my husband, my daughter, and me feel very, very special.
My heart melts when I hear him sing those nursery rhymes non-stop, when I look at his handwriting and his drawings on his notebook, when he spells for us, asks us if the coffee is hot or cold, and tells us how cookies and cream ice cream tastes like…when he gets excited to see her teachers and comes home with all those smiley stickers on his shirt…when he begs to go to lolo’s house in the afternoon and lets his sister hold the remote (for a while). My heart leaps with joy just seeing him loving everyone and being loved in return in his own little ways.
I still pray though that soon he would ride his bike, fly a kite, fire his Nerf gun, and play tag outside with his cousins. I long to wake up one day and listen to him say again and again how school was or how his day went. I’m looking forward to the day when he becomes, not the boy I want him to be, but the boy God has planned him to be.
And today, on his graduation, I would like to thank St. Therese of the Child Jesus Multiple Intelligence School, his teachers, and staff for journeying with our son and our family. For being extra patient with him whenever he throws his usual tantrums, for caring for him not only in his academics but also on his well-being, for being with him, and for celebrating with us the tiniest milestone in his life. More importantly, thank you dear teachers and friends, for being such blessings as you have showered him with all your love.
No words can truly explain how blessed we are for being parts of our journey so allow me to pray for you that God will continue to bless you, your family, and this wonderful institution.
Thank you and God bless everyone here.