It’s Tim’s birthday tomorrow, so indulge me while I get a little nostalgic.
Every year on the eve of his birthday, I take a look back at what he’s achieved, how far he’s come, how much he’s done that I never dared hope for him. So many years of uncertainty and knockbacks and missed milestones and therapy and differences and pain and sickness and tantrums … I shielded myself against hoping for too much.
A beautiful friend sent me this picture last week. I love it. It’s my new mantra. If there’s anything I’m learning as I clock up over 9 years on this autism journey it’s that we all need to concentrate on what our kids CAN do and not what they CAN’T. I spent so many years in lack, of spending every hour and dollar we could find to do more therapy to FIX all that stuff he couldn’t do. And I sort of overlooked the beautiful wonderful things he CAN do that others can’t.
He sat with me on the lounge tonight watching Big Bang Theory. He commented that Sheldon was kind of weird and that people with Aspergers were often pretty smart weren’t they, but they seemed weird to other people. I asked if he felt weird sometimes and he said yes. And we talked about some of the things he could do that the other kids couldn’t and some of the things he couldn’t do that he wished he could.
We took a quick inventory of the year that was 11 : flying unaccompanied to see his grandparents, going to America to see all the museums he’d longed to see, winning a Student of the Month award as well as an Academic improvement award, writing his first book … yep, they said he wouldn’t, but he did.
Happy birthday my beautiful boy. The path ahead won’t be easy for you, but I’ll be here cheering you on every step of the way. I can’t wait to see how much more you will do.