Makes Me Wonder

I went to the bank the other day and when pulling out of the driveway, I stopped and let a group of guys cross.  There were six or seven men in their twenties and at closer look they were all some form of special needs people except the Leader.  The Leader must have been their caretaker, taking them on a walk or outing of some sort.  The special needs guys all had the same look of oblivion on their faces and didn't seem to have any idea of where they were or what they were doing.  They were walking, just like cattle might, with no mission or sense of purpose; not even really aware of each other let alone their surroundings.  It was sad really; heartbreaking.  They had no idea I was watching them so intently; studying them in fact.  They had no idea why I found them so very interesting.

My mind raced and then I got a lump in my throat.  I felt for a moment I might throw up; tears welled up in my eyes yet I couldn't break the stare.  All I could think about was will this be my son in fifteen years?  Will he be oblivious to his surroundings and going for walks with a caretaker, hopefully not pushing a cart?  Will that caretaker be me?  What will happen to him when I die? Who will love him? Will he have a purpose in life? Will he be productive and have any kind of self esteem or pride? Will he know right from wrong and be able to control his impulses or might he have to be institutionalized in a sterile and cold environment with round the clock care and therapy in order to contain him?  Will he be a violent teenager and adult?  Will he ever speak? Will he be abused if not under my protection? Will there be someone who will be especially kind to him or comfort him when he needs it? Will he be a ward of the State?

But my biggest question, the one that haunts me every single day and night is will he be happy and what, besides Doritos, will make him tick?

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