13 August 2014


i've used a lot of space on this blog to talk about my journey with my eldest son, Ian.

i've chosen to do this in part because the journey is a unique one on several levels, particularly given the fact that Ian has autism. And that has impacted not only his life, but my family's life and my personal life in profound and life-changing ways. (So much so that i am in the process of gradually writing a book on my journey with him over the years...hence, a lot of blogs pertaining to said journey.)

But i have two sons, both of whom i am incredibly proud, both of whom i love with my entire being.

And while at times he may get the 'shorter end of the stick' in regards to attention and exposure via this blog, Trevor Christian Marsh (or Trev...or T-Bone...or T...or Fwebbuh...or as he once instructed us to call him when he was about 5 years old, 'Fred') is his own unique, amazing, curious, creative, paradoxically and preternaturally sensitive and insightful young man.

If Trevor could pick any vocation for his life, he would choose to be what the legendary David St. Hubbins of Spinal Tap said he would be if he wasn't a rock & roller:

'Full-Time Dreamer'.

And yet, T's dreams are always somehow anchored in the awareness of what is truly real.

One day, i came home from work and saw Trev in the backyard on our old trampoline. Football in arm, Reggie Bush USC jersey on his torso, he swerved back and forth in the same slithery fashion as his childhood sports hero, including doing a version of Reggie's front flip into the end zone.

T-Bone in 'Full-Time Dreamer' mode.

I came up to him and said, 'Hey, Reggie...how's the game going?'

And he stopped, turned to me with a look of stern determination chiseled on his face, and with dead seriousness said, 


Near the end of this past school year, in the midst of his last big push of homework and projects, feeling exhausted and yet oh so close to the finish line, Kirsten and i continued to try and encourage T to finish his work. We told him that he'd worked SO hard this year, it would be too bad if he just let it all go at the end and not see his work through. And he rolled over on our bed, looked up at Kir, and said, 

'You know, mom...there are more important things in life that academic achievement. All you NEED is love.' 

T likes the Beatles, but he's not a HUGE fan. And the impetus for saying this most likely came out of the fact that he just didn't want to do his homework. But even in a moment like that, with whatever may have been motivating him to say it...like T always has, he gets it.

He GETS it.

He gets IT.

IT being the ultimate point as to why we're all here.

And Trevor has always found a singularly sensitive and sensational way to show that, more often than not, in life, he truly GETS IT.

Allow me to 'brag' a bit for a moment about my TBONE...

   He grew up with a big brother who didn't have expressive language until he was about 8½ years old. And yet, Trevor consistently engaged with his brother playfully, joyfully, creatively, laughingly, often carrying on both sides of a conversation. And sure enough, when Ian did eventually begin to talk, his speech therapist credited Trevor with having more impact on his brother's development of expressive language than anyone else. In other words, T was the primary person who taught his OLDER brother how to SPEAK. 

   He won the Most Inspirational Student award for his class. TWICE. (8th grade and 11th grade.) Not because he had the highest GPA, but because he worked so hard to overcome challenges, and did it with such kindness and grace and humour that his teachers overwhelmingly nominated him for the award.

   He won Freshman of the Year and Most Improved Runner on his high school cross country team. Again, not because he was the fastest or most talented, but because of his overwhelming efforts to improve and help his team, and because he was the best teammate imaginable, always encouraging others and cheering louder than anyone else on the course.

   He was elected recently to be the youth liaison with the deacons care team at his church, because his youth director saw that the breadth and depth of his compassion for others is broader and deeper than all the oceans of the world. Combined.

At least in my book, THESE are the kinds of 'achievements' that fill my heart with such amazing pride and profound thankfulness for the gift of my astoundingly AWESOME son.

From the time he could speak to this very day, as we celebrate his 18th BIRTHDAY, whenever T wants us to come give him a snuggle or tickle him or whatever (yes, he still occasionally likes a 'snuggle'), he will say, 'dad...GET ME.'

And isn't THAT what we're all longing for? 

Someone who embraces us not as we SHOULD be, but just as we ARE?

Someone who can appreciate and even celebrate the unique quirks in our personalities and gifts of our nature?

Someone who truly 'GETS' us?

i wear many 'hats' in my role as dad to my fellas, one of which is occasionally 'teacher'. But over the past 18+ years now, i've much more often been in the role of 'student'. Because much more often than i do, both of my sons GET IT.


Happy 18th Birthday to you, my TBONE! I love you forever and for always, my dear one. ROCK ON! :D


  1. I hadn't read your blog in a while! Great stories about Trevor - can't believe he's 18!!! Hope you're all well. Hugs from the East.