Can’t believe my beautiful boy M turns 6 today. It hasn’t been an easy ride. He was hard work as a baby and toddler with all his food intolerances and challenging behavior. He also had to take a back seat so often because of everything that was going on with his big brother. He’s not the take the back seat type of kid. There were lots of difficult days for us both – for us all as a family.
It will probably astound some people for me to tell you therfore that one of the best days of his life so far for me as his mother was the day he was diagnosed with high functioning autism. The relief this filled me with was indescribable. It explained so much about who he was and also gave me such hope (yes, really!) for the future. Not only because of the funding and incredible early intervention therapy his diagnosis unlocked but because I knew for sure it was ok to parent him differently, to apply different rules and to learn as much as I could that would help him learn some vital skills and strategies that come so much easier to other kids. It was the missing piece to the puzzle and just made so much sense!
And my god how he has thrived. He has become such a fine, beautiful, well mannered, caring and studious big school boy. His teacher has given him awards for his hard work and effort and he is slowly building valuable friendships with his peers. He stood up at the full school assembly last Friday alongside the other children celebrating their birthday this week and used such a clear confident voice announcing that he would turn 6 today.
I had tears in my eyes watching him because I was so intensely incredibly proud of my boy. Of how far he has come, how hard he has worked, how much he tries with all his heart to make sense of the rules of social etiquette and behavior and how every day he finds little ways to not lose his cool and to adapt to the world around him even if he finds some of the rules confusing and nonsensical.
I’ve learnt so much about high functioning autism over the past 18 months but I’ve learned much much more about my gorgeous boy. About how being on the autism spectrum in some ways explains who he is, but it never defines him. He is a wonderful individual who loves trains, who loves to dance (and is becoming quite the groover!). Like his dad he loves all his electronic devices and gadgets. He loves to dress up and do imaginative play with his brothers. He loves to swim. He loves to cuddle close especially on cold nights. He has an infectious laugh and a winning smile.
We had a lovely small family party yesterday and he’s having a party with hid school friends in the school holidays. He’s already been spoiled with gifts and love. And he deserves it all.
I am so proud and so very very lucky to be mother to such an exceptional, clever, resilient and beautiful boy.
Happy birthday M! our 6 years together has been quite a roller coaster ride but I wouldn’t have wanted to have missed even a minute. Love you to the moon and back and I think you are awesome x