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Thursday, January 19, 2012

My youngest is a year older...and how old is that?

The birthday boy wanted to celebrate at home with family.
Of course, he wanted an ice cream cake.

He was pretty excited about these remote control helicopters, too.

His physical body turned 14 a few days ago...but due to his FASD, his mental/emotional age is quite a bit younger. Overall, my boy's age is sort of on a sliding scale between 8 and 14 years of age. He has faced many challenges in his young life and has many more ahead of him. In spite of all that, he is indisputably one of the sweetest, purest souls I have ever met.

When people hear of his struggles, they often shake their heads. They call us saints for adopting him, say how lucky he is to have us...but those people are so wrong. In spite of the struggles (the behaviors and rages related to his PTSD and FASD are real and awful and frustrating, no denying), we are the lucky ones. I am blessed to be his mom, to have his love...and to have earned his trust. Here are a few things about my boy:

  • He has a smile that lights up the world and he gives great hugs...to everyone.
  • In 3 years since joining our family, he has grown a foot; he's thrilled that he's finally tall enough to sit in the front seat of our van.
  • He says he wants to live with Mom and Dad forever and take care of us when we're old. 
  • He still likes Scooby Doo cartoons...but he's also getting zits and peach fuzz on his upper lip.
  • He loves videogames, especially if he can shoot at things or blow them up...but he also would like a new Winnie the Pooh movie.
  • He loves animals, especially dogs.
  • He's terrified of zombies and totally believes in them. When I tell him that zombies aren't real, he pats my arm and tells me that when they come for us, he'll keep me safe.
  • He loves to wrestle, be a ninja, jump, run, play...and dance.
  • He's a gifted artist...when he draws at school, the other kids gather around and ask him for pictures.
  • He loves to snuggle and watch TV with his siblings, his parents, and our dogs.
  • He's popular with the 6th grade girls...and he's starting to figure out that he likes them, too.
  • He has a tender heart and is a fierce defender of his friends...which is how he got suspended from school for 2 days last week for fighting. Sigh...
  • He doesn't like school but has many friends there, both students and staff...and he's proud of his academic progress.
  • He can read on about the first grade level now...and that's a huge victory.
  • He says he wants a cell phone so he can text his friends; I told him to keep improving his reading and we'll talk.
  • He loves helping me in the kitchen, especially cutting up veggies for salads.
  • He hates doing his chore (taking out the compost bucket) because he's sure zombies are lurking in the yard, waiting to eat his brain.
  • It takes him a long time to master new skills...but once he learns a new skill, he does it perfectly.
  • He feels everything deeply...that means that his rages can be intense...but his joys are also intense...and these days, we see more joy than anger.
  • Of all of my kids, he is the one who is most willing to accept responsibility and apologize for his mistakes...and his apologies are sincere, never empty.
  • This child loves wholly, fiercely, and unreservedly. Here's where I'm blessed...because I'm loved by this boy.
  • This child doesn't trust easily because his early life has taught him that most adults weren't worthy of his trust. Again I am blessed...because I'm trusted by this boy.
  • And last but not least, he's generous. He asked me the other day how much wheelchairs cost. You see, he wants to start saving now for a nice one for my old age. Awww...how sweet is that? 
Hope you enjoyed your birthday, my wonderful son! I'm so proud of you!!!
                                                                 Your Lucky Mom



GB's Mom said...

You are a very lucky mom! Congratulations.

Anne Kimball said...

Such a beautiful post about such a beautiful child....