A few days ago, you turned twelve. I’m sorry I’m a little late. We celebrated with two birthday dinners at your favorite Italian restaurant, a Yoda cake, your little “birthday vacation” to an indoor water park, and a night at a hotel. A thorough celebration, as always.
You’ve had another huge year. You’ve grown quite a bit and are about 5’2” now, which you are very proud of, and the big news is that you graduated from speech therapy! Last year, I was concerned about changing our focus from occupational therapy to speech, but you have come so far. I now know it was what you needed. You had a significant deficit in pragmatics, the “why” of language, and you spent the year working hard with your speech therapist. You’ve made such huge gains that you no longer qualify for therapy, and you are now able to communicate so much better.
Your one Christmas wish this year was to go to Disney World, and Santa delivered! I was anxious that you would feel overwhelmed or struggle with the crowd, but you absolutely rocked that whole experience. You handled the crowds well, walked for miles, and were stunned and amazed by the sights— especially the parades and fireworks. You loved the rides, and your favorites were Peter Pan’s Flight, Thunder Mountain Railroad, and It’s a Small World. You waited patiently in lines. You exhibited nice manners at meals, and had your first fine dining experience on top of our hotel at, as you called it, a “fawncee “ restaurant. You loved the characters and completely enjoyed a character breakfast. We did not use a disability pass, and I am so proud of how you handled everything. You never cease to amaze me, Bear.
You are doing well at school and have gained confidence with your reading. You are still younger than your years in some ways, but I love that you still like to hang out with me and watch a movie or snuggle for a favorite book. You still have a moschievous streak, but you are learning to be a good friend and a helper around the house. You still love all kinds of music and going to the movies, and you love to go out to eat. You are growing and changing much faster than I’m prepared for, but I can’t wait to see what adventures the next year will bring.
I love you more than all the water in the ocean, more than all the stars in the sky, and more than everything in between.
Love always from your biggest fan,