Friday, October 31, 2008

Epistle: To D., on the Occasion of His Fifth Birthday

Dear D.,

You are five years old. FIVE. Holy crap.

There are so many things about you that fill me with wonder. You have very specific likes and dislikes, and you enjoy sharing them with us. Loudly.

You really enjoy watching videos of garbage trucks on YouTube. Unfortunately, you do not like long videos, and you do not know how to click the mouse to select the next video yourself. So, the family waits at your beck and call, to click the mouse approximately every 47 seconds. Good times.

You also really like Joe, from Blue's Clues. But not Steve. Never Steve. And Dora is cool, and sometimes Diego. You really like cars. And helicopters. Also eating is high on your list.

Low on your list is patience. For pretty much anything. Go figure.

You have specific preferences for the cup and plate you will use for meals. You dictate which clothes you will wear and which shoes shall grace your feet.

You use words to express many of these desires. Words. "I don't want to wear that shoes. I want to wear my new Crocs." "I want to go to the park." "I want to open another gift."

All these words, and yet somehow, singing the entire alphabet song still eludes us. I know that it's my issue, more than any of yours, that marks this as a setback, but I can't help it. This birthday is a very hard one for me. Sometime around school age, developmental delays become developmental disabilities. And that's such a scary thought, and I don't blame you if you hold that thought against me.

Because it shouldn't matter, and of course it doesn't matter, D., because I love you so much that it causes me physical pain, but that's exactly why it does matter. And I hate that it matters, but what can I do? I'm not as strong as your Aba. I'm greedy. I want you to be the kid who, when you stand up as valedictorian at Harvard, everyone points to and says, "Did you know that he was developmentally delayed and some idiot doctor thought he'd never amount to anything?" I want you to prove them all wrong.

I'm trying really hard, D., to remember that my definition of success is not the only definition of success. That success can look very different to different people. Bear with me, because you might have notices that you got stuck with a really stubborn mom who doesn't give up on her ideas easily. This is sometimes positive, but generally not.

You are amazing. And I love you. And you are amazing.

Happy Birthday, sweet boy.



lisa said...

This post got me seriously teary. I'm greedy too. HAPPY BIRTHDAY D!!!

Lisa b said...

Happy Birthday D.

ella said...

Happy birthday, D. You are an amazing boy, and clearly so very loved.