Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ten Great Songs From One Great Son

Mayer's list

When I decided to start blogging again, I knew I would continue my Top Ten Songs list. It was a lot of fun to do and the responses I received were always very good. Through the lists, I connected with some of the artists who I profiled and also friends of those artists.

Usually, I focus on a particular year, or decade. On occasion, I'll feature a single artist or band. But this week, I was asked by my oldest son, Mayer, to create a list of his favorite songs. Before I do this, I'd like to tell you a little about my boy.

Mayer was born in December 1993, in Sinai Hospital in Detroit. From birth, we knew he was different from other kids. Very early on, we feared he was autistic. He was showing all the classic signs of it and, as young parents with a 2 year old daughter, we weren't prepared for such a challenge. Because of hos issues, he was a very difficult child who cried and fussed a lot He was delayed in everything. But interestingly, he excelled at jigsaw puzzles well beyond his age level. Furthermore, he was showing signs of a remarkable memory.

When he was almost 3, an event happened that seemed to "wake him" up. Although he was only in a particular school for a few weeks, he was allowed to take part in the class' graduation ceremony. For the first time, Mayer smiled and laughed and he seemed to revel in the new attention he was receiving. From that time on, Mayer started to come out of his shell and begin to show promise.

Over the following years, Mayer handled all the changes and issues that was thrown at him. He was deeply affected by my illness and he began having serious issues at the school he was in. It became apparent that a change needed to be made. Once I was well enough, we moved back to Chicago and hoped for a more settled life. But a year later, his newest school folded and he was forced to attend another school. Unfortunately, the students at this new school decided that because Mayer was a little different, he could just be ignored or made fun of. This has continued through high school as well.

On the other side, Mayer is a very intelligent kid who has been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. This form of autism affects social skills more than anything else. And when you are in high school, nothing matters more than your social life. It's heartbreaking to me and his mother when we see how depressed and discouraged he is because he desperately wants to be accepted by everyone and considered just another guy. But he also knows he isn't.

Mayer has a wicked sense of humor, loves sports - especially the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers (well, look who his dad is). But he also likes the Cubs and the Bulls. He is devoted deeply to his brothers and sister, as well. He's a great kid and someone worth befriending because he is a very loyal person who wants everyone to get along. He is my oldest boy and I can not be any more proud of the man he's becoming.

Come Sail Away -- Styx

Don't Stop Believing -- Journey

Dream On -- Aerosmith

Livin' on a Prayer -- Bon Jovi

Follow You Down -- The Gin Blossoms

Stairway to Heaven -- Led Zeppelin

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) -- Green Day

More Than a Feeling -- Boston

Bohemian Rhapsody -- Queen

Hotel California --The Eagles

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