Tomorrow marks twenty-two years that Bailey was born. I say the number for your benefit as well as mine because it is a reminder. A reminder that he really isn’t twenty-two. That the number itself is an illusion. There are subtle acknowledgements to that fact. While he is independent in most areas of his life there are moments where I wonder if he will live alone.
In the middle of the night, after a wicked storm had passed, the electricity in the condo went dark. I had woken up due to the ferocious presence of the vivid lightning and the repetitive claps of thunder. Both Brian and I stumbled in the dark, opened our bedroom door, and there in the glow of a flashlight stood Bailey. Scared the crap out of me because he tends to hold it under his chin. Our sweet special needs boy was the only one who thought about bringing a flashlight. He might be smarter than any of us.
As he stood there he told us he was scared, but he wasn’t going to bother us. Brian offered for him to come into our bed which he enthusiastically agreed to. I, on the other hand, decided to bunk on the sofa as both of those individuals sleep like they are in a cage match. We settled into the darkness. The illumination of his flashlight stayed steady as Bailey is terrified of the dark. A nightlight has always brought him comfort.
As the sun rose and the electricity came back on, Bailey was securely nestled in our bed. Brian commented that Bailey wanted to hold his hand throughout the night and then it happened. That pesky question…..how will he live alone if he is scared of storms, the darkness, and all the other things he looks to us for comfort? You see, he might be almost twenty-two, but that is simply a number.