Seven Lessons on His 7th Birthday

I feel like you’ve all gotten to know my sweet A. so much this year, thanks to the “My Story… ” series.  I’ll actually be wrapping up his story (at least for now!) in the next few weeks since the loose end are pretty well-tied for the moment.  Still, it’s been fun sharing the whole journey of parenting a child with a severe language delay, diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and, ultimately, evaluated to be severely gifted.  Quite the ride!

 

Today?  That sweet boy is seven.  And, in honor of that and Finer Things Friday, here are SEVEN things I am so blessed this child has taught me:

 

  1. Size matters.  To men, especially, it would seem.  From infancy, my precious boy, you have been kind of “super-sized.”  Now?  You’re really just tall.  But you’re really tall.  And kind of broad-shouldered.  From the first day of preschool, fathers have asked me how big your daddy is as they attempt to stand taller.  It amuses me.  And today, on your seventh birthday, you already come to the top of your 5’7″ mama’s chest.  Before I know it, I’ll be looking up to you.
  2. Chivalry is not dead.  It is positively charming to watch you go through your days, my child.  You’re the only boy on the bus who hangs back because the neighbors are all girls and, as you quietly remind the driver, “Ladies first.”  You hold the door for me, and your sisters, and random people at restaurants.  I hope you raise your sons to do the same.
  3. A diagnosis is not set in stone.  It was a year ago that we convened for the meeting where that PDD-NOS diagnosis was essentially dismissed.  What had rocked our world three years prior was simply no longer relevant.
  4. There will always be people who underestimate you.  It wasn’t all that long ago that I would have to sign papers every six months documenting your severe delays.  I now have regular phone calls about how excited the entire district is about you.  Go figure.
  5. Hard work pays off.  So much comes so easily to you, my son.  Athletics?  Take some effort.  And you give it.  You work consistently and methodically and you meet the goals you set.  Congratulations on earning your apprentice purple belt last month!
  6. There’s more than one way to solve a problem.  How many times do you set out to calculate some complicated math equation and, as I listen to you talk it out, I have to bite my lip from telling you you’re on the wrong path?  So many.  But every time– EVERY TIME– you arrive at the correct solution.  It’s been a good lesson for me.  And I’ve learned to hush.
  7. Being the biggest or the brightest would mean nothing if you weren’t also one of the kindest.  You are, quite honestly, a sweetheart, my beloved only son.  You are sensitive and loving and cuddly and you show such compassion.  Your love for your little sisters is obvious and your tenderness toward other people and animals is admirable.  There are people in this world who tell you how amazing you are– how superior your intellect is– and, yet, you shrug it off and just keep on keepin’ on.  You were as happy to be partnered with a little girl in your class struggling through a level 2 book as you are to be paired with one of the other level 20+ readers in there.  All you said was, “It was a good story.  About a horse.  Not many words, and that was good.  She did a good job working through them.  She’s a good friend.”  So are you, little guy.

 

Happy 7th Birthday, A.  I look forward to all the lessons you’ll teach me in the coming year!

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