Badge of Honor

For a kid who eats very little by mouth and prefers to have that mouth open as much as possible, Collin hardly ever drools. In the Community (shorthand for people who have disabilities and their families), it's called having trouble "managing your secretions". In Collin's classroom, his friends call it "drizzling" or "leaking." Either way, Collin does surprisingly little of it. We keep a microfiber cloth with us for the occasional wipe, but he hasn't needed a bib of any sort for years.

But. There's something about being held, head resting on a comforting shoulder, that makes him forget about managing secretions. He talks happily and nuzzles in and out comes a drizzle.

When it dries, it just looks like a slightly lighter patch on your shirt. And you never see it because it's on the back of your shoulder. Sometimes you can just take care of it with your hand, but other times - say, after a meal - you really need a towel or washcloth to take care of business.

But Collin's daddy never wipes off his shoulder. And it's not just that it doesn't bother him. He wears it like a badge of honor. The honor of having Collin for a son.

Other people probably don't even notice it, but I can see it from across a room. And when I do, I can't help but smile. I instantly see him holding our boy, talking to him, loving him well, fully accepting every part of him.