Homework Hero

After dinner, as the table cleared, as the homework came out, as the pencil took to the page, I almost raced to my phone to take a picture.

I didn’t. I sat. I watched. I just let my eyes track Sawyer’s every move.

I observed his recognition of numbers. I watched him add incorrectly. I listened to his scream when my wife Kellie, took out the plastic bear counters to assist him.

I saw it. He did it. He wasn’t thrilled about it but the job was done.

However, there was no picture. I have noticed that a picture would have displayed the process of success, which was only a fraction of the truth.

Yes, I’m proud of how hard Sawyer works. He shows his resilient drive in all of his being.

Autism may be a part of Sawyer’s delays, his ability to communicate, and his struggles to learn like others but it has never robbed him of his desire to work. He is a worker.

So Sawyer worked through his addition problems. Mission accomplished.

Fast forward to his reading where he had this read a sentence, find a picture, follow the instructions, and color the correct section.

There was no problem getting his materials as he ran downstairs to get his markers.

His feet slammed on the wooden stairs on his way back up.

Then there were tears when he felt like he ruined his paper as he recognized a mistake.

We aren’t talking a few tears, we are talking the opposing team watching a basket at the buzzer of a high school state championship type tears.

The shouts, the screams, the end of the world.

However, the noise, the sadness, the eruption ended. Sawyer went back at it. He moved forward. He continues to be the homework hero.

The 10th hole

My grandfather was an avid golfer. Though he has been gone for nearly 20 years, I find pieces of his legacy in the most unexpected places.

Sawyer’s middle name is Irvin after my grandfather. He was my hero. He was my everything. Life just loved him as much as he loved life.

Like Sawyer, Irv was one of a kind. He would go at pace of his own. His life was his interests. His agenda was what he wanted to do and if you wanted to see him, you either went with him or waited.

Sawyer has bow ties whereas Irv had the checkered plaid pants. Irv controlled a conversation based on his knowledge. Twenty plus years later, so does Sawyer.

Irv and I spoke about how to swing a club and life lessons that always seemed to be wrapped around a sports metaphor as we would hit golf balls.

Sawyer and I speak about what he did during his day. However, he changes subjects when he just doesn’t want to talk but rather ask scripted questions like, “were your kids good listeners today?”

Yes, Sawyer loves to ask me about my school day and my students.

Just like with Irv, I tried everything to gear our conversation towards new things and it would always come back to him.

During the present day, I’m always attempting to generate new conversation with Sawyer and go off his script. However, Sawyer isn’t very flexible.

Neither of them are or were.

However, I find this odd comfort in my realization. It seems that once I turned 40 last year, I started to see a lot of Irv in Sawyer. And it just wasn’t the moniker on paper.

For the first 9 holes of my life, I never thought there would be a person like Irv. However, on my 10th hole, I have met him again in Sawyer. I’m thankful to be on the course.