12 March 2012

Dear Jeremy Lin

Dear Jeremy,

I feel I can address you by your first name, because I'm old enough to be your mother. And it is as a mother that I write to thank you.

Today is One's birthday. He is nineteen. Don't ask me how he got this old--I'm busy raising a passel of boys, so I don't always notice them growing until they're, well, grown. One is special. He is autistic and right-side hemiparetic, which means he has cognitive, social, and physical challenges. He has succeeded in life far beyond what we initially believed would be possible, given the dire prognosis of his neurologist. He's different than most children his age, but not always in a bad way.

One is a font of information. From the moment he could read, he has immersed himself  in the topics that interest him--weather, animals, history, science. He spends hours on the computer researching, reading, and watching videos. He is our personal Wikipedia--when any of his younger brothers (he has four) asks a question, my initial answer is usually, "Go ask One." Except if the question concerns sports.

One has never had any interest in organized sports. His physical limitations made it difficult for him to play, although he is the fastest one-handed PlayStation operator I've ever seen. He knows the teams we follow, even though half the house roots for New York and the other for New Jersey. So, you can imagine my surprise when One started quoting your statistics.

Like everyone else in the nation, One was captivated by your remarkable performance. I would walk past his room and see him watching highlights on his computer. He dug up every video ever made about, or by, you (he's particularly fond of "How to Get Into Harvard.") He began watching games with his father, and asking questions about the team. He now knows more about pick-and-rolls than I do. He can discuss the Knicks schedule with his brothers, and predict success based on the opponent. (He's unfailingly optimistic.) He wears his "Linsanity" t-shirt in gym class.

Early news coverage of your amazing debut focused on the "Cinderella" aspect of your story. I want to thank you for reminding everyone of the hard work and dedication it took, especially when you were on the bench, to maintain your level of play. It is an important lesson in perseverance and preparation that I repeat for all my boys.

In my version of the fairy-tale, you aren't Cinderella, but the prince. Your dynamic presence on the court was the glass shoe that finally fit One. He slipped it on and became connected to the world, and our family, in a new way. For us, that has been sweeter than the Knicks beating the Lakers.

Thank you,

One's Mom, Megan


  1. Oh, interaction instead of parallel existence! Was that a heady realization? Yay for One AND all the rest of the family.

    P.S. It's so very sad Five is starving. A shame, really. :)

  2. Megan, what a lovely note and, lovelier still, that Jeremy Lin has been such a positive inspiration for One. I seriously hope that you also wrote this letter for real and mailed it to the Knicks. Lin has also taken some hard knocks and he might appreciate knowing how you feel. Yay for One!

  3. Hooray for One! I'm so glad you've found more common ground.

  4. Wonderful story, and what a nice tribute to Jeremy Lin. Happy birthday, One!
    Hugs to all.

  5. I hope someone points this out to Jeremy. He should know he's changing lives. Good on you, Megan!

  6. Happy birthday to One! (And happy 19 years later to his fabulous mom.) And yay for this story--it's just wonderful.

  7. Happy birthday, One!! And three cheers for his awesome mom!! :)

    Very cool letter -- I hope Jeremy Lin sees this eventually!

  8. Cathy M12.3.12

    A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to One! We should all take a page from One's book and be open to new things to learn, no matter what our age.

    Megan, this was a lovely letter expressing in such an eloquent way a mother's affection and pride in her son and her joy in his accomplishments.

  9. Happy Birthday, One!

    This made me smile, smile, smile. I look forward to the day when we are bonding over sports instead of Clifford the Big Red Dog. How wonderful for all of you to gain another connection.

    Also, how dare you let the cheese run out before the salami does! The indignities of ingesting a cheese-less salami sandwich, indeed!

    PS Welcome to Marvelous March! You're Marvelous!

  10. Great post, Megan.
    Happy Birthday, One!

  11. Nice point, but also happy bday One!

  12. Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes for One! The Knicks let him down on the big day, but that's what happens when you're a New York sports fan. He'll have to learn that lesson just like the rest of us.

    I will probably send this letter to Jeremy, or just have one of my tech savvy kids email him the post!

    Five's Starvation Update: I broke down and bought the cheese to go with the salami. But I still wouldn't buy him a snow cone at the park yesterday. Yes, it was warm enough in northwestern New Jersey for the ice cream man.

    Damn ice cream man.
    You ruin an otherwise perfect day
    with your lights and music jangling
    a siren call.
    Damn ice cream man.

  13. Crap. Late again.

    Happy Happy to your beautiful boy. (March just creeps up on us, doesn't it?!) And big huge hugs, kisses, back pats, and snack trays for Mom.
    (Didn't he JUST turn 18 like a week ago?!)

    1. Oooo-snack trays! I've been celebrating all week with chocolate. Snack trays sound nominally healthier, so I'll switch.

      Yes, it was just last week that he turned 18.


Thanks for reading! Unlike other Diaries, this one isn't private. Feel free to share your thoughts. Politely, of course.