It turns out that April is Autism awareness month. I found out via pop up banner on an appliance dealer’s website. I never know about these special months or days because we live with autism everyday. Keegan Joseph Sullivan was born thirty-ish minutes after his twin brother Jake skidded across a blue tarp at South Shore Hospital at 3:00am on April 2, 2017. Keegan was and is a happy, sweet baby. He started crawling around the time kids start to crawl. He started walking around 13 months. I remember the pressure about hitting these milestones. It always seemed like a competition with other parents. Parents love to act smug about little Susie who crawled at 12 weeks and walked at six months.
As someone who has worked almost exclusively with kids on the spectrum and someone who dearly loves family of my own on the spectrum as well- I know these feelings on a basis of being a sister, an aunt, a godmother and friend. I can't imagine the added stress, worry and even grief that can come when you're in the parenting role.
Keegan is a very special kid. He is so intuitive and kind, funny, sassy and affectionate. Most of all he is happy and he spreads joy wherever he goes. I have been honored to be a small part of the team over the last 5 months. I don't say this lightly, but the connection you have with Keegan is so remarkable- I've never seen anything like it in all of my years in childcare. Even without words, there I'd a natural communication that transpires between you two in such a profound way. He seems to feel safer and happier with you than anyone else on the planet and that should speak immeasurably in terms of how wonderful of a job you've done. It's a long hard journey, and there is grief involved every step of the way. That grief is healthy and normal. It means you want the best for that little boy every day of his life . And though it may look differently than you had hoped or expected, I hope you know that you and Keegs mom have given him every tool, service, resource and opportunity to thrive and feel safe, protected and loved. He is growing so quickly and I'm certain he will continue to make leaps and bounds all thanks to parents that took the hand they were given and gave it everything they have.
Thank you for sharing this peice of your story. Your writing is incredible and I'm so glad I got the chance to read this.
Sull, wow. You have me alternating between tears and pride, as your weekly missives usually do. My tears are for the how life seemingly indiscriminately places incredible challenges upon us and can constantly knock us over. No reason...you get "X", good luck while someone else does not. Everyone has something they are dealing with, yet outwardly we all appear "fine".
Your last paragraph makes me proud to know you and consider you a great friend. Compassion, protection, always doing what needs to be done...you are an amazing man. I have no words to make anything better for Keegan, nor can I imagine what he and you endure. But, you too should know that you and YOUR FAMILY are loved, respected and valued. I cannot truly fathom the challenges, but I believe that Keegan will have his best possible life because he has Tom Sullivan for his dad and Jake Sullivan for his brother.
Not sure any of my crappy writing makes sense, but just wanted to say Love ya Sull-Coach
I love this post. True honesty and I like the part of chugging coffee ☕️ I became a true coffee addict when I had my son. We had him later in life and coffee is my saving grace. My boy never slept 😴 now I thank God for melatonin and coffee ☕️ it keeps us both alive. Anyhow, there's strength in numbers, so nice to know we have people like us...have a great day!
What a beautiful writing Tom. Keeg is the most sweet, kind, sensitive, funny, and happy boy. I love both Keeg and Jake, I enjoy every minute spending with them. You and Cait are blessed to have this cuties munchkins, and the boys are blessed to have awesome parents. I know you will have the wisdoms to walk through this journey with them.
God bless you all. Love you guys 🙏🏻
God has a plan. You are at the core of Keegan’s plan for a reason.
You are a better man because of this. You are a King and Keegan is a Prince.
He will never test you harder than you can handle, but He will make you stronger than an acre of garlic.
This strength will be available in all aspects of your life.
God bless you. You are a mensch and a father.
Great picture and even better post Tom. I was moved by this and have deep respect for you as a write and as a parent. I love me some Carrot Cake early in the morning. He's lucky to have you as a Dad.
Boy oh boy I feel like you turned your body inside out for this one. All soul. Proud to know you.