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.
One's Mom, Megan