If I could tell you, his teachers, just one thing, it would be this…
“Growth is in our vision.” -Mike Barnes
September 7, 2011
Dear Preschool Teacher and Aides,
Enclosed you will find a poetic version of the vision that we have for our son, Jonas. Print this poem. Tack it up next to your computer as a constant reminder of who Jonas will grow to be, of who he is destined to become.
Your part in this stage of his personal timeline is vital. You hold his future in his hands. It is a monumental undertaking, this I know. In my heart, as a teacher, as a mother, as a human being, I know that you will aspire each and every day to lead him down the path toward self-actualizing greatness. I am confident that one day your paths will cross as Jonas reaches his potential and you will think back to the pensive, long-locked cherub that he was and how you fostered his growth meticulously largely with a core belief in his unyielding potential.
He will be great. He will lead with compassion and humility. He will humble us all.
He’s counting on you and your vision.
The Story of Jonas Emiliano
His name was chosen ever so carefully.
It had to be one of strength, inspiration, leadership, humility.
Not just be a pretty sounding name;
No Jackson, Jacob, nor Aaron need apply,
A name to justly represent him.
To stand the test of time.
Great like greatness and nothing less.
And so it was that he was given THE name: Jonas Emiliano.
Jonas, for the vision that Lois Lowry’s character in The Giver embodied.
Jonas, the boy who could see beyond.
Jonas who saw color in a land of grey.
Jonas, savior of the innocent Gabriel from the perils of “utopia.”
Emiliano for Zapata,
Mexican revolutionary who campaigned for “Tierra y Libertad.”
Emiliano who fought for justice and equity.
Emiliano, la esperanza de los campesinos.
Emiliano whose words still ring from mountaintop to mountaintop.
“Men of the South! It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.”
His book is one waiting to be written.
Full of blank pages.
Who he will come to be, I don’t know.
I search for clues every day.
For now I am certain of 2 things.
1. Jonas Emiliano has autism.
And 2. His view of the world may be his greatest gift.
Perhaps his brain was wired just so to allow for the incredible vision needed to live up to his namesakes.
He will lead with incredible wisdom.
He will see beyond.
He will inspire volumes.