To My Dear Sweet Hayden,
You are now a mighty young man of 13, and before life gets even crazier than it already has, I just wanted to write you a note to say thank you. Thank you for being you. Thank you for being my son. I'm horribly insecure, having spent most of my life's energy (until you came along) trying to please everyone else and always, always, always coming up short. Thank you for teaching me that you don't have to please anyone and you have absolutely NOTHING to apologize for. I LOVE your self confidence and feed off it.
Thank you for your joyous spirit! Thank you for leading with a smile when you walk into a room....any room. Thank you that when we encounter people we don't know out "there" in the world, you change people with your engaging smile. I absolutely LOVE following you in a crowd to watch the hearts that melt in your wake. It's magical.
Thank you for trying. In all the therapies, (all the puzzles, all the bounces on the giant balls, all the sit ups, all the climbing, all the bike riding), in all the outtings with your crazy parents ("what? I'm hiking ALL the way down to Abalone Cove???!"), all the meetings you've had to sit through, you try. You try to talk to us even though you can't hear much and the muscles in your mouth don't work all that well yet, and yet you try SO hard to be connected to me, to us, your family. Thank you. I feel unworthy of your efforts.
Thank you for reaching out to hug me when I'm completely overwhelmed and I've just lost my mind with all the demands of being the mom to two busy kids. Thank you for not holding a grudge against me for all of my juvenile behavior.
Thank you for changing my definition of what a family is and thank you for teaching me to see you how God sees each and every one of us, as treasured works of art, each with a unique mission here on earth.
I will forever be in your corner,