First off, my sweet niece Sienna makes videos. You should know this now, because give it ten years, and that chick is going to be FAMOUS. She made a video using snippets of videos taken with her camera by Peyton and her little brother, Mason. It’s kind of frantic and awesome, and I totally think it’s how Casey sees the world.
Did you see how it slowed down and got peaceful when he was around butterflies? It’s really how it is. Casey is ALL boy. He laughs at every fart (and he’s a gassy kid…) burp or potty word, he doesn’t slow down and likes grabbing boobs.
Yeah. I just said that. We’re working on it, though.
And whether it’s the autism or the boy, or probably a combination of both, Casey’s brain never seems to slow down. Neither does his body. Not even at night when he sleeps. So to see Casey slow down enough for something like this is huge:
This was in DC. It was the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We had gotten ready and gone to church, only to find that they had Stake Conference earlier that morning. Left with nothing to do and looking FABULOUS, we decided to first go to the Pentagon, which was heartbreaking, and then over to the National Mall. I wanted my kids to see why we love this country so much. On our way, Casey freaked out. After some horseplay with Dad, he mellowed out enough to walk with us, but he was still overwhelmed. I knew we’d probably not make it as far as we’d like to go. Eyes, still red from his tears,Casey spotted a butterfly. Just sitting on a wall, waiting for him.
Casey put his finger in front of the butterfly, and the butterfly climbed on. It was like the butterfly could sense Casey’s distress. Immediately Casey calmed down. But the butterfly didn’t leave. It just stayed with Casey, and Casey stayed calm. For THIRTY MINUTES that butterfly rode along as we walked to the Lincoln Memorial. As soon as we got there, the butterfly flew away. Just like that.
The peace stayed as we walked up the steps to the big statue of Abraham Lincoln. D.C. seemed pretty afraid to go out that day, so there weren’t many people, and everyone, Casey included, was peaceful and quiet. Entering the room with the statue felt like walking on hallowed ground. Goosebumps came all over me, and I looked over to see them on my boys as well. They were quiet. They are NEVER quiet, Casey especially. Reverent, really.
I told them about Lincoln and why he was so important to our country. How we really need a president like him right now. We read the words engraved on the walls, and I left feeling more in love with my country than I did when I walked in.
And also grateful, for Casey’s butterfly. Like the chaos theory in real life: one little butterfly completely changed the course of our day. Had that butterfly not hopped on Casey’s finger and taken that long ride, our day would have been drastically different. Instead, Casey was able to calm down enough to have his autism pushed to the side, just for a little bit. Those moments are magic.