Happy Birthday Grant!
17 years have passed since the day that I met you. You invited us into an unknown world. I crumbled when the MRI revealed the significant damage to your brain. As your mother, I owned the heavy responsibility of fixing you. How could I straighten your head, enable your eyes to see, strengthen your core, loosen up your left arm and leg, and help you find a way to communicate? My sweet baby boy…how foolish of me to think you were somehow broken. Your mesmerizing dark eyes pleaded with me to stop all the nonsense and simply hold you.
In truth, I never imagined raising a child with special needs. The unique challenges are often isolating and painful. Together we formed a team of doctors, therapists, and teachers that would enable us to navigate the unknown. All mothers believe their children are magical. But through the years, you have proven that there is a powerful light inside of you that impacts others. You adore people not for what they do for you, but because you want to bring them joy and happiness. Jealously, hatred, and resentment are not a part of your DNA. You are constantly seeking ways to let people know that they truly matter to you. I am in awe of the depth and ways in which you love.
You and your brother saved me. Thank you for making me laugh every single day. You are the best workout partner, and refuse to let me give up. You have taught me that people are to be treasured far above anything this world has to offer. Watching Wheel of Fortune, taking a walk, playing UNO, working on a puzzle, trying a new restaurant, and getting our $5 Friday smoothies all become miraculous adventures with you by my side.
As you blow out the candles on your 17th birthday cake, you care nothing about opening your presents. Instead, you will hug each and every single person gathered to celebrate. When it is my turn for a bearlike embrace, I will look into those captivating eyes, and thank God for the gift of my son.