To my beautiful first-born son.
From the moment I found out I was pregnant with you, we had a wonderful special connection. A relationship like no other in my life before that. A love that surpassed anything I had ever known, because I was going to be responsible for everything about you, and making sure that you had the best tools to grow up healthy, and into an equipped man of character and honor. What I didn’t see ahead of time, was that the challenges you and I would face together would be bigger than I thought, and start at a much younger age than I thought. And I want you to know, my very special SuperOmar, I see you. You matter to me.
When autism is kicking in at full force, and we are dealing with your brother’s particular desire of the moment, with his particular need for the moment, and you have to surrender everything you were hoping for in that moment for us to deal with calming him down, you show marvelous grace. When it gets to be unruly, uncomfortable, and when it takes everything you have in that moment, I see you.
On easier days, I still see you. I see you giggling in the rearview mirror, when he says or does something very odd, but we love him so we accept it for who he is with laughter in love.
I see you, when he is climbing over your head and he winds up kicking you or smashing your face into the ground while he laughs, thinking it is OK. I am so thankful that instead of throwing him off, you smile and accept him, for exactly who he is, without trying to change him.
I see you, when you have to put down something you were deeply engaged with and loved doing, to watch him for me, so I can get something done in the kitchen, like make a meal, or wash the dishes.
I see you, when you have to let him have things his way and make the hard choice not to ignite a battle that is unnecessary in that moment.
I see all the ways you have allowed sacrifice and selflessness to abound more than greed and anger.
I have seen you give him the chance to hold one of your most special fragile toys in pure love and acceptance of him.
I have seen when you have offered him some of your favorite snack, without a second thought, because he is your family and you love him.
I have seen you defend him, love him, choose his well being, protect him, explain him, help him, and love him in a way that words cannot even do justice.
I see the way you go out of your way to investigate and know what matters to him, to speak to him in a way meaningful to him, and to share in his excitements, joys, interests, and hurts.
When it seems embarrassing or scary or unfair. I see that you love him still.
I see you, when you walk to school by yourself and give me a second and third look back before heading off completely on your own to the bus stop. I see what you have given up for him. I see your independence growing earlier than most others your age, because life demanded that of you, perhaps a little, or a lot, too soon.
I have seen your unfailing love for him which is beautiful, admirable, and impressive for your age. But, I don’t want you to forget in all of that, that I see you too. I see the intelligent, curious, problem solving, sensitive, loving, amazing young man that you are shaping into. I am so proud of you. I am so inspired by you. I just want you to know, while Lucas seems to demand all of me so often, I still see you, even then. You matter to me just as much as he does. I am honored to be your mother.
It breaks my heart, yet grows my heart infinitely at the same time, to see your struggle and maturation. You have stepped up to handle what life has given us in the most commendable, merciful, loving way possible. I am grateful for you always. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, and I am here for you as much as for him.
I see you too.