Noah seeks out eye contact.
In grocery stores, on multiple occasions I have caught him- too late in the act to stop him— reaching out with his right hand, placing it on a woman’s butt, bending around her leg towards the front of her body, and smiling. It is one of the most endearing experiences you’ll encounter- if you are the woman, or an observer. He is particularly drawn to women with long dark hair, probably something to do with my mother and four sisters all having long dark hair.
Individuals with Angelman Syndrome are categorized by an unusually happy demeanor, which doesn’t sit well with me. It’s a symptom?- side effect?- whatever you call it. Unusual happiness? I have always felt that this unfairly qualifies their happiness as part of the syndrome, when it may be that they are genuinely joyful. Noah has a joy that overrides his other emotions. But, you bet that when he falls down, he will cry, when I eat two bites of pie without sharing, he will protest (yes, he’s watching), but… he is so quick to return to his natural state of content. To me, Noah is a genuinely happy person. He does not sit and laugh for no reason. He does not walk through his day just smiling. He does, however, find every reason in the world to grin and to share that grin with any lucky person who passes by him.
He is the salt of the earth.
Matthew 5:13-16 (MSG)
Salt and Light
13 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
By their very existence, individuals with AS simply spread light. They season the earth with joy. While I believe that God did not create these lucky people to have a neuro-genetic mutation, He did allow it for a bigger purpose. He has blessed them with a more beautiful view of life. Every single day, Noah gives my life the best flavor. After having stepped out the front door to grab the mail, I am greeted by a smile that would make you think that I had been absent for days.
May we all look at disabilities and see how they truly make us able to be better people. How they season our lives, and preserve the earth from all the destruction that is constantly consuming us.
May I continually savor my every moment with my light giver and continue to pass it along.
Noah, you inspire me in more ways than you will ever know.