People with Angelman Syndrome are commonly referred to as “angels”. I have to admit that I have my reservations about giving my son a nickname that is indicative of his syndrome. However, I do recognize that it is quite an endearing term to give a person.
Tonight, we were on our way to the grocery store, my mind was heavy with anxieties about future plans, decisions, and possible what-if scenarios. As I was getting Noah out of his car seat, it hit me that he doesn’t have to worry. He doesn’t have anxiety (unless he’s worried about when he will be fed next), he doesn’t have to deal with relationship strife, if there will be enough money, or the stress of planning and executing dinner in a timely fashion. His life is joy. He wakes up in the morning with a smile on his face EVERY DAY, no exaggeration. He eats breakfast, plays on his ipad, has “friends” (therapists) come over and play with him, takes naps, plays with play-do, gets snacks from the fridge, gives face hugs, and sits on my lap to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Thankfully, this is all part of my day as well!
It’s easy and common to look at a disability as an unfortunate occurrence. A hardship. A burden. Just plain sad. But, honestly, I think Noah has it better than you or I. He was given a life of freedom from sin. Freedom from trouble. Constant joy. He may not understand a lot, or ever understand a lot, but what he does know, is joy.
So, while I don’t like the nickname of “angel”, in this context, I can’t deny the fact that Noah brings heaven to earth every single day. Not just for me, but for the lady at the grocery store, his preschool teacher, his classmates, nearly everyone that he comes into contact with on a daily basis.
For this, I am blessed. I am thankful. I have joy.
Thank you, Noah, for being my constant teacher and companion.