To my son, on his 9th birthday,
It seems like just yesterday that I was holding you in my arms and peering into your sweet, dark, newborn baby eyes. Listening to you as you nursed while holding your little body against me, I felt like the luckiest person alive. As you have gotten older, some of my favorite moments have been seeing how you’ve grown into a sweet, loving boy. I have loved watching you grow.
So, here’s the good news: I love you. I love you unconditionally and that love is forever. No matter what happens, or how bad a day you have, I love you endlessly. I love you because you’re part of me and your father. I love you because of your love for life. I love you because you have a great sense of humor, because you work so hard to do your best, and because you are sweet, loving boy. I love you more than you can ever know.
But, here’s what your father and I haven’t told you yet: you have autism. This is something that you will always have and it’s part of who you are. This is why you have such a difficult time making friends, why you need help handling the unexpected, and why you feel a need for routine and sameness. And even though some days are harder than you want them to be–harder than we want them to be–we know that your diagnosis and your rough days are not all of who you are. You, son, are still my baby. You still make me feel like the luckiest person alive. I still feel honored and blessed to be your mother.
When you come and snuggle with me in the mornings, when you tell me every day that I’m the best mom ever, when you “give me some loves,” when you rub my back and ask me if it feel good, when you jump and spin for joy over life’s smallest pleasures…I know that I am raising a precious gem of a boy. I love you so much.. And on today, your 9th birthday, I want you to know that I am so proud of who you are and how much you have already overcome. I will always love you, my sweet boy. Happy birthday!