Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Birthday: A Letter to My Son

Dear Xander,

   Today you are three! It feels like only yesterday I was pacing the aisle of that hospital, big as a whale, begging you to hurry the heck up and get out! We already knew by then we were no longer on real time, 9 months before we transitioned to "Xander Time" and haven't been back since. Every step of the way has been on your terms, when you were good and ready. Life today being no exception.

your first picture ever.

    These days you still don't really talk. I'm sure when you read this, you will be a regular "Chatty Kathy," that probably came in your own time too. Lately, I just look forward to the days you are more focused and willing to answer Dad when he asks what your dinosaur or rubber duck is. Those are the brightest days!

    I can't wait to ask you what sensory days are like from your point of view. To truly understand why you want to bang your head and rub your arms and belly. What squeezes do for you and how compressions affect your mood. To hear about what makes something stim worth, why certain pictures are stims and others are just pictures. What about lights makes you giggle and what makes jumping so much fun.

    I hope I've filled your mind with as many positive thoughts as I could manage over the years. That you've grown into a young man who knows he has challenges, like all people do, but that they shape you and make you better not less as a human. I hope you have learned to never be ashamed of your autism, to never feel like you couldn't be whatever your heart desires because of it. You have probably been bullied or told you can't do something because of a delay, most of us in our lives have at one point or another regardless of any diagnosis. Hopefully with our help you stood up to those naysayers and proved them wrong. Whether you were actually able to achieve the goal or not, you were brave enough to try and that's proof enough that they were wrong.

    While I wouldn't take away your autism, because this is how God designed you, I pray it has not defined you. I hope people see the bright brave amazing little boy I see jumping on his trampoline in front of me, grown into a strong loving man first; someone who has done all of this while having autism, not in spite of it. They will not see you as a person capable of less, unless you let them. And that if they can't see past the autism at first, upon meeting and getting to know you, that their opinion of autistic people is changed because of spending time with you.

    My greatest wish for you is that you find love. I don't know what the future holds for you and a thousand doctors can guess and tell me what your life might be like, but until we get there we just won't know. But regardless of severity years from now, don't ever believe for a minute that you can't love. I see the way you look at your father and me and I know you love us. I see it in the serious face you get when you grab my head and sweetly smash your mouth against my forehead, copying my way of giving you kisses. Your father lights up when you guys are having a tickle fight and your eyes sparkle and you start to laugh in that way only Dad can get you to. You deserve to meet someone and fall deeply in love and I have no doubt you will someday. Relationships are hard, they can be hard for anyone, but anything worth having is worth working for.

   You are my pride and joy, I will love you until the end of time. You have made me infinity proud over the last three years and I look forward to many more years of bursting at the seams with parental pride. I can't wait to watch you grow up.

I love you, Xander Bean!

-Your Mom


  1. Thank you for sharing this on the I Run 4 page. Xander sounds like an awesome guy!


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