There are so many things that I want to tell you on this day of your 16th birthday but I will try to stick with just one…
I have noticed that things are changing.
That you see people differently and want to be like “them” instead of like you sometimes.
That you have grown to understand more about yourself and what it means to have autism and you aren’t too thrilled about it all the time.
But I want you to know that you and your beautiful hair and gorgeous eyes and kind heart and infectious laugh are perfect.
That whatever “normal” is, it is completely overrated.
That our years of burning dinner and forgetting to shut the car door in the rain and driving to school on a snow day, will always be my favorite memories.
Because I was learning to be your mom and learning to laugh at myself and teaching you to giggle right along with me.
I want you to always love yourself and see the “you” that I see.
Because following someone else gets boring,
but creating your own path and walking with your head held high is the best feeling in the world.
(And besides, if we were “normal” you would never have had the opportunity to hold the flashlight for the police man after I locked the keys in the van during your birthday dinner as we laughed uncontrollably because the stench of the diaper I had just kicked under the van was gagging everyone. Sorry about that Honey, but I needed to do something to make the evening extra-special-memorable, you’re 16 now.)
Happy Birthday Ms. Ashlyn, here’s to many more years of your perfect journey.
I hope you will always love you just as I do.
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