My dearest Noah,
Today you are five. F I V E. This birthday really gets me buddy. I don’t know if I can call you my little one any longer. You’re growing up. A kid now.
And gosh did I put so many limits on you for this birthday. Not the doctors, me. I thought so many things had to happen by now for everything to be “okay.” Well let me tell you, none of those things have happened and we’re okay. We’re still standing, and we’re still smiling.
We are learning and growing into this autism stuff — into this whole life and parenthood stuff, really.
Recently I heard a mama say sometimes it can be hard to connect with kids on the spectrum, and unfortunately that’s sorta the truth. And that’s not your fault or ours. We have found our own unique ways to bond with you. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say for years I’ve just wanted to know who you are.
For so long I didn’t know much about you Noah, I knew you loved Mickey Mouse and barbecue chips. But I knew there was so much more than that, of course there was. I just didn’t know how to figure it out without you being able to tell me, or perhaps you weren’t ready to show us. But finally, this year we have learned more about you than ever before.
You are funny. Gosh are you funny. You are sneaky, and sly, and the biggest little flirt.
You love playing in water. I think if you could, you’d actually live in it.
Your favorite character is Pete from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, not Mickey and not Donald like I had guessed before. It’s the sometimes misunderstood character and I just love that about you.
Your favorite animal is an elephant. Yep, I know it because you get super excited whenever you see one on tv. I hope you get that happy when you see a real one this summer at the zoo. Of course we’ll try taking you.
You love counting, boy do you love counting. And all the colors of the rainbow too.
You love being tickled, over and over again.
You are smart, so so smart buddy. And every day you show us just how capable you are.
You give the hardest, best hugs.
You have a laugh and a smile that could light up the whole world.
And I’ve been told by hundreds of people now just how amazing and special you are.
Not every mama gets to hear that from so many people about their kid. I’m pretty lucky if you ask me.
I’m so proud of you Noah. And I don’t know what the future holds, but I promise to never try to make you into something you’re not. And I promise to be here for you in every way I possibly can.
Love you pudge, always and forever.