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Meet a remarkable young man. Max doesn't communicate like we do. But he communicates better than we do about the most important things. Max doesn't think like we do. But his actions reflect deep spiritual truths. With candor and wit, Emily Colson shares about her personal battles and heartbreak when, as a suddenly single mother, she discovers her only child has autism. Emily illuminates the page with imagery—making you laugh, making you cry, inspiring you to face your own challenges. Chuck Colson, in his most ...
Meet a remarkable young man. Max doesn't communicate like we do. But he communicates better than we do about the most important things. Max doesn't think like we do. But his actions reflect deep spiritual truths. With candor and wit, Emily Colson shares about her personal battles and heartbreak when, as a suddenly single mother, she discovers her only child has autism. Emily illuminates the page with imagery—making you laugh, making you cry, inspiring you to face your own challenges. Chuck Colson, in his most personal writing since Born Again, speaks as a father and grandfather. It is a tender side Max brings out of his grandfather, a side some haven't seen. As Emily recalls her experiences, we discover that Max's disability does not so much define who he is, but reveals who we are. Dancing with Max is not a fairy tale with a magical ending. It's a real life story of grace and second chances and fresh starts in spite of life's hardest problems. And Max? Max will make you fall in love with life all over again, leaving you dancing with joy.
Okay, maybe I was a little rebellious - but whenever my dad reminds me of that, I usually look him straight in the eye and say, "I think I turned out remarkably normal ... all things considered."
I didn't exactly have your normal life experiences, although who has? At seventeen, I was shy, guarded actually, with the self-confidence of a gnat. Which is why on this particular day, with the lamination barely cool on my driver's license, my mom volunteered to lead me through my very first car wash. All my young rebellious nature would be required to do was to follow.
I watched as my mom's 1970s hatchback disappeared into the black hole of foaming spray. I gulped nervously as a burly attendant waved his arm, expecting me to drive my eight-inch-wide wheels into four-inch metal tracks. Did he understand that I couldn't see my wheels? As I pulled forward it sounded as if my tires were screaming at me, the rubber screeching against metal. The attendant signaled me to stop.
I cranked down the window of my boxy old Plymouth Valiant. "Regular wash, please," I said, trying to act cool.
"Hands off the wheel. Foot off the brake. Keep it in neutral," he ordered, pocketing my money.
That's it? I thought. Just sit here?
My car jerked forward, and a frothy wave of water slapped against the windshield. As I was swallowed into the dark hole, I could see huge blue towels lapping tongue-like across my hood. It was such a Jonah-in-the-whale experience that even my feet felt wet. And then I looked down.
Apparently, the tattooed attendant had neglected to inform me that I should close the vents on my car, that ingenious 1970s pre-airconditioning cooling system of little doors beside your ankles. The fact that these vents also blew leaves and road debris into your car tells you how closely this technology mimicked that of the Flintstones'.
There at my feet, gushing through these open vents with hydrant force, was enough water to fill an ocean.
I jammed my foot up against one of the vents but couldn't close it. The water pressure was too great. I pictured myself reaching the exit of the car wash with the interior of my car completely filled with water, like a rolling aquarium. And there I'd be, treading water with my lips stuck to the inside of the roof, sucking out the last bit of oxygen.
With survival at stake, there was only one thing to do: I put my hand on the wheel, threw it in reverse, and hit the gas. With an enormous crack the steel bar that held my car in place snapped. I flew backward, out of the entrance of the car wash, as though I'd been shot out of a whale's blowhole. Oddly enough, the attendant was not as relieved as I was to see me back where I'd started, safely on dry ground.
"Whaddaya doin'?" he screamed in his Boston accent, as he held the sides of his head. "Ya broke my cahwash."
I thought it best not to ask for my money back and did the only logical thing a seventeen-year-old could think of - I drove away as fast as possible.
When I pulled around the corner, my mom was waiting. She rolled down her window and watched as I opened my car door, releasing a splat of sudsy water against the pavement. I waved my hand, motioning for her to drive away, and yelled, "I'd rather wash it myself."
That was many years ago, and I haven't backed out of a car wash since. But I have felt exactly the same way: the challenges ahead looking just as threatening, just as ominous. Pressure is rising and I can see the end. I'm sure I'll run out of oxygen, that I can't possibly survive.
But I have survived.
Excerpted from Dancing with Max by Emily Colson Copyright © 2010 by Emily Colson and Charles W. Colson . Excerpted by permission.
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Preface: Emily, Max, and Me Charles W. Colson 9
Prologue: Confessions of a Dad Charles W. Colson 11
1 Car Wash 23
2 Staring at the Wall 26
3 Designing Max 31
4 Growing Up in the Clouds 37
5 Skylight Boy 43
6 Walking 47
7 Falling Down the Stairs 51
8 Grace 55
9 Locked in a Closet 62
10 Children's Hospital with Patti 71
11 Picture Talks 76
12 Grieving the Dream 81
13 The Circle 88
14 A Hole in the Wall 96
15 Order from Chaos 103
16 Falling Up 114
17 Laughing Out Loud 122
18 Out of Time 127
19 Superman 133
20 Jump In 141
21 Finding Treasure 146
22 Legacy 152
23 Dancing at the Back Door 159
24 Unspoken Grace 165
25 The Bridge 171
26 Jumping Off the Bridge 178
Epilogue: Learning to Love Charles W. Colson 183
Thank You… 198
Posted July 13, 2012
Posted June 29, 2012
Posted May 2, 2012
Emily Colson's story of her life together with her autistic son, Max is a celebration of life. She acknowledges that the greater the needs of the child, the harder the parents have to fight.
Yet amidst the sleepless nights and the hard-won battles, she lovingly affirms how Max has changed her life for the better. Indeed, life can be an adventure, even a celebration, while a parent of an autistic son or daughter helps them to become the best that they can be.
Posted November 18, 2012
No text was provided for this review.
Posted February 14, 2011
No text was provided for this review.