There are words that I use to describe this son of mine: strong. patient. kind. creative. hilarious. punny. Autistic…. a word that is part of who he is, but not who he is.
In fifteen years, he’s illustrated one word more than all the rest: indomitable.
He’s private and humble, shy and quiet. I try to not overshare his presence on the internet, but 365 days a year I want to shout from the keyboard : Look at my baby!! SLAYING it. Overcoming. Persisting. Keeping us in stitches while doing it.
Instead, I save it all up for the one day that I can. Happiest Birthday, son. You are truly remarkable and I can’t wait to watch you spread your wings.
You were born in a flurry of drama. Barely breathing. You spent time in the NICU and leaving the hospital without you was the hardest. When I brought you home, I thought that I needed to keep some distance just in case but your beautiful soul would have no part of it. You would spend long hours staring at me like you knew something about me that I had not yet figured out. You did. You knew that I needed you as much as, or more than, you needed me.
You are a fighter. You’ve fought a lot in your days. When I have bad days and don’t feel like fighting, I think of your face. You are inspiring in ways you can’t imagine. You are gifted and blessed and one day you will know what we already know: you are unstoppable.
About a year ago you started walking to relieve stress. You instinctively knew that to jolt a brain that doesn’t want to cooperate into working more smoothly, endorphins acted as a jump start. In the months since, countless people have said to me “Your kid is the kid that walks!” and you have become a little bit of a neighborhood legend. In a house with louder stars, it tickles me that you are admired for your calm, every day, reliable presence. It’s such a delight to be the mom of that kid.
Son, this age is a time of hard. No teen emerges unscathed, but for a young man that’s faced as much as you have there is more to overcome. Hang on, walk on, love on, son. You are not in it alone, but when you emerge on the other side, you will stand alone as an example among peers. You are made for great things… you’ve already done so many.
And we will be right here, cheering you on!