Nine.

The monkey will be turning nine soon.

Nine.

I remember when my daughter turned nine. She had made a remark while watching a movie. She said she’sld love to have a surprise party. So we rented the hockey rink where she played. We invited all of her friends.

As she walked into the rink we all screamed “Surprise!”.

I had games planned. We played tug a war, pin the tail, scavenger hunt games, etc By the end of the night I was exhausted.

And she was beaming with happiness. All the work was worth it.

Such a difference when compared to the monkey. He’s oblivious to these things. Today I kept singing happy birthday to him. I wanted him to get used to it. I think his virtual class will be singing to him and I don’t want him to freak out. In the past he gets overwhelmed, cover his ears, and tries to run away.

I hate that I compare both birthdays. Yet how do I not? How can I not see just how different they are? Kids his age are asking for playstations and I’m planning on getting the monkey ABC puzzles. I’m going to reintroduce them with the combination of putting words together. Maybe this time it will click and he will start to spell.

The older he gets the more we see the gaps when compared to other kids his age. I remember Ms. Pauline (a wonderful member of our online autism family) mentioned that she was sure he would speak last year. She was so sure. I just love her hope. We can feel her love towards my son.

How can I repay such a beautiful gift?

But reality is that my son will be nine years old and still not there. No voice. Not even close to speaking.

I’ve talked about how our diagnosis has been a process for me. Acceptance is a process. And many times when I feel I’m doing better, accepting our diagnosis, facing my world, I feel as if I’m back to square one.

My heart aches when I’m in these phases. I’m not sure words can describe the depths of hurt, sadness, and guilt all mixed together.

As usual, when my son sees me crying as I type this, he comes over to kiss me non-stop. He tells me he loves me using his iPad. And he hugs me.

My beautiful boy. ❤️

This year my son still cannot speak. And as much as I yearn for that day, I will celebrate the milestone of his speaking device. His communication ability is increasing everyday. And I will take this win and run with it. Small steps for some, huge leaps for us.

Twisting my sadness to joy has been what I fight for all the time. I fight to see the beauty within. Because even the storm eventually runs out of rain.

Happy birthday my monkey. I will always fight for you, including my inner struggles.

I love you to the moon and back.

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