To My Autistic Son On His 10th Birthday (5 Years From Now)

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To my autistic son on his 10th birthday,

Its December 10th 2016 (5:51 p.m.) and I’m thinking of the next five years of your life. So the intention of this letter is for today to be your 10th birthday. I stop and sigh at the meaning of time and the meaning of this special day. I can’t imagine my life without you in it, I don’t want to, I don’t even want to think of the life I had before you came to me.

So to think about this moment is to think about two things. The first is that I hope that every day since the day you were born you have felt our love for you. I know this to be true because you have a way of telling us how you know we love you. You refuse to see us side to side on our bed without you jumping and crawling in between us. You hold us close to you, letting us smother you with affection and kisses on each cheek. Everyday up to today we have loved you unconditionally for everything that you are and everything that you are not. We have fought anything, everything, and anyone that might have posed a limitation to your wellbeing. You know and we know you are loved by many.

The second thing this moment means is the man that I have become because of you. I know no greater love than for you and your sister. I am proud of the person I see across the mirror because I cannot be any less than the dad you need in your life. And it’s not because I have to be but because I want to be. I want to be the words in your essay when they ask who is your hero. I want to be your sidekick in your imagination when we fight villains.  I want to be the lullaby of your song before bedtime and the ease that brings you peace in your bad dreams. I want all of this and more.

So tonight as you go to sleep, I hope you sleep peacefully knowing you are loved. And whatever that life brings,  we will embrace it together.

Happy birthday my prince.

Daddy loves you.

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