May 31, 2012


Dear Moe,

Today you turn five. I've been thinking a lot about what I want to tell you on this day. I've imagined all the things moms tell their boys on their fifth birthdays. How big you've gotten. How you'll be heading off to kindergarten soon, officially a big kid. How I hope you enjoy your party.

But I can't really say those things to you. Of course you have grown, but you are still very much a little kid. You are still in diapers. You are still learning to communicate, need help eating and getting dressed. You are not a tall boy (you can thank me for that) and next to other kids you still look so very small. You explore the world through your senses. You are beautiful and innocent, if sometimes a little, shall we say "spirited."

You won't be going to kindergarten next year, and we aren't having a big birthday party for you. Though we did celebrate your birthday - and YOU - at the autism walk . We were a team for you and all you've accomplished, and all you will continue to achieve.

I don't know how much of that you understood. But I'm pretty sure you enjoyed your cupcakes.

With every passing year, Moe, you bury yourself further into my soul. Even as your needs get more complex, as I find myself so often at a loss over what you want or need, I feel our connection growing.

When I wake you up in the morning, you smile at me and hold out your hand. When I sing a song, sometimes you sing along with me. And though you don't run to me when I pick you up from school, or tell me you love me, you do still like to cuddle up on the couch. And you have a smile that I know is reserved for me, when we are sharing a funny moment or simply enjoying each other's company.

So much of your days, Moe, are spent with people who are trying to get you to change. We ask you to learn new skills. We ask you to calm down, or play appropriately or try to use words. But there are some things I hope you never change.

Never stop singing.

Never stop experiencing the world as a joyful place.

Never stop giggling, even if you are the only one who knows why.

And never stop eating you cake with as much gusto as you like.


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