Deprecated: Creation of dynamic property wtfplugin_1_0::$package_slug is deprecated in /home/thevir17/public_html/ on line 23

Deprecated: Creation of dynamic property Fullworks_Anti_Spam\Control\Core::$freemius is deprecated in /home/thevir17/public_html/ on line 64

Deprecated: Optional parameter $post_types declared before required parameter $location is implicitly treated as a required parameter in /home/thevir17/public_html/ on line 3783

Deprecated: Optional parameter $content declared before required parameter $function_name is implicitly treated as a required parameter in /home/thevir17/public_html/ on line 428

Deprecated: Creation of dynamic property ET_Builder_Module_Paypal_Button::$fields_defaults is deprecated in /home/thevir17/public_html/ on line 1403
Preparing to Launch - Hope in Autism

Deprecated: Creation of dynamic property ET_Builder_Module_Comments::$et_pb_unique_comments_module_class is deprecated in /home/thevir17/public_html/ on line 1403

Preparing to Launch

Sarah Broady
July 13, 2024

It’s 8:22pm on a Monday evening and I was resting my eyes on the couch (okay fine, I was taking a nap) as my husband practiced the piano. As he worked through various passages of a highly challenging piece, the sharp pangs of multiple flats pierced my heart. This wasn’t for his choir pieces at school where he teaches. He was practicing for our son Ben’s college audition. He’ll primarily be applying to the Berklee College of Music and our alma mater, Belmont University. His first choice is Berklee. I was roused from my catnap by the sudden urge to write through the flood of feelings I am experiencing (often) as I prepare to launch my firstborn from the nest in less than a year.

I’ve been hyper-aware that every moment is a moment I may not remember, and so I must cherish each one in its time. They say the nights are long, but the years are fast, and when my baby boy was small enough to be snuggled tightly in my arms, I remember thinking, “yes, but these nights are so long.” It seemed years would never pass. But pass they did and 17 and a half years, one month, and 12 days later, here we are.

Earlier today I heard Ben practicing his scales on his alto saxophone. Tonight, his father practices the accompany part as if it were his own audition. I began to imagine the scene in the audition room. Ben would introduce his father as his accompaniment partner. I wonder if they might be impressed that father and son can play so magnificently together. I smile to myself as Ben has now joined in the practicing, and it’s truly a magnificent sound.

Before our children were born, we asked all those fun questions – “you think he’ll take after us and get into music?” People asked us if we’d be upset if we didn’t have musicians in the family. Such a ludicrous question to ask. Of course not. We’d be so proud of the hobbies and gifts our children had even if music wasn’t among them, just as we are of our other children who don’t share the same level of enthusiasm for music. But now that we have an amazing young musician to share these passions with, I can only tell you it is a joy unlike any other. But not because it’s what we also do, although that certainly has some sway in our feelings. It’s because he has worked so hard for so long to come as far as he has. He found something he loved at an early age in the 4th grade thanks to an introduction to band instruments, and he pursued it with the vigor and loyalty we have come to appreciate about our firstborn. Ben is nothing if not passionate and loyal, and his music demonstrates these qualities even in practice. I absolutely love watching him blossom as a musician.

What makes my heart twinge is realizing these gifts will soon be leaving my home. I only have maybe 10-11 more months to have a TV show interrupted with the singing of his saxophone drifting down the stairs from his studio he created in our guest bedroom. Less than a year to be serenaded while we set the table for dinner. Only the blink of an eye before he latches his saxophone it its leather case one last time, not to head to band practice or to put it away like I’ve been telling him to do for three days now, but to permanently set off for a new adventure. Sure, he’ll be home for college breaks, but it won’t be the same. It’ll be the end of an era.

I’m not ready. I have what seems to be all this time to prepare these next several months, and it’s not enough.

I feel now as if someone is surgically removing my heart, one incision at a time. One cut here tonight listening to him practice for his college audition. Another cut tomorrow when he says something funny, and we laugh together. And more and more cuts, deeper and deeper as we escort him onto the field for senior night, or he performs in the musical at school, or we have silly arguments at the dinner table, or learns of his college acceptance, or he finally walks across a stage to accept his hard-earned diploma. Little by little, time is slipping away quietly and painfully but quickly, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

Except to enjoy the moments. Moments with laughter that hurt so much that I can’t breathe. Moments with (his) snarky comments and (our) raised eyebrows. Enjoying his guacamole on Taco Tuesday because he seriously makes the best guac. These are the moments that happen while the second-hand gently ticks by.

The thing is, I really like him. I’ve talked to all kinds of parents over the years, and frankly, not everyone truly enjoys their kid. If Benjamin weren’t my son, I’m pretty sure I would want to be his friend. I’d want to hang out with him. It’s just a bonus that, for now, I still get to tell him what to do… and pay for all his stuff. But really, I love just being with him. His presence in our house is unique, as is that of each of our children. But they’ll get their own blog post one day. Whenever he’s not here, the dynamic changes, though not in a bad way. It’s just different. It’ll be hard to get used to on a regular basis. So sometimes when he’s at band practice or galivanting with friends while the rest of the four of us instead of five are eating dinner together, I imagine that’s what it’ll be like. And my wounded heart kind of jumps a bit.

Not yet,” it whispers. “Please… just not yet.”



Meet Sarah

Sarah is a wife and mother to three sons, one of whom has autism. She is a writer, speaker, and producer and host of A Special Hope Podcast.


Listen Now

Discovering special hope in the stories of those living with special needs, those who strive to minister to special needs families, and the God who is making all things new. Available here, or anywhere you podcast.

If you are enjoying this site and the podcast, please consider a donation of any size to contribute to the costs associated with running a website and a podcast. Any and all gifts are greatly appreciated!

How Movies Helped Me as an Autistic Person

This guest post is by Samuel Broady, a young man who was diagnosed with autism at 2 and plans to attend Columbia College Chicago. Samuel is applying for the Spring 2023 Making a Difference Autism Scholarship via the nonprofit KFM Making a Difference.

Check out Sandra’s latest release,
Unexpected Blessings:

More From This Category

Remembering From Whence We Came

Remembering From Whence We Came

Taking time to remember... Today is World Autism Awareness Day. It is only the 3rd health issue to receive its own day of recognition that was...

read more

Chicka Chicka 123

It's been a while since my last post, though I have had a thousand thoughts I wanted to write down. Somehow I feel that even though this is my own...

read more


1 Comment

  1. Cathy Stewart

    Oh Sarah…so perfectly and eloquently described….I have been there and you are exactly right! And so wise to be aware of all these small moments in time. Every stage is different…and is wonderful and stressful in its own way…..but I will definitely agree that watching your baby grown into this amazing adult that you not only love, but really, really like…is an awesome feeling. Well said, friend….keep appreciating because it all goes FAST!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This