Ten months ago I had an idea and a question that began with, “What if…..?”

What if I put aside the novel I had been writing? Change direction, try something different? A children’s book perhaps, with illustrations that would need to be drawn? 

I had my twenty-two year old son John on my mind. Diagnosed with Autism at the age of three, would John accept an invite to be involved in such a project? Could this be an opportunity for him to feel satisfaction in accomplishment, to have something to be proud of, a sense of purpose? What if he said yes?

I presented my children’s story idea to John and asked him what he thought about illustrating it. From John’s years of high school art and his continued drawings at home, I believed in the possibility that he could do it. The question was, would he want to? 

It makes me smile now to remember his enthusiasm as he readily agreed that he would like to be involved. From that moment on, he viewed himself as an illustrator, proud for what he believed he could do. He never wavered from his dedication to completing our project. His sense of purpose has grown in the months he has been working on the book and he has been very excited for the day that it would finally be published.

Today, I had the honor of letting my son John know that his wish for the story I had written, the one that he believed in himself to illustrate, has come true.

Very thankful to be in this moment and may I never forget to believe in the “What if’s…”

Chris

 

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