|Ashton - 2 days old|
|Christmas brothers - '03|
|Ashton - halloween '04|
|Ashton - halloween in '06|
|Kiss the camel! - June '07|
|Mommy & Ashton at VA Beach - Spring '07|
As you grew, you were always smiling, always. Such a happy and friendly baby and toddler. You loved to eat, despite the nasty reflux that plagued you for the first two years of your life. Around 18months we began to notice a change; you were no longer that social and happy-go-lucky baby. You would often stare up at ceiling fans for an extremely long time and well, you had to have everything lined up, just so.
At 2 and a half years old we received your official diagnosis; Autism. I was also pregnant at the time and your world was about to be rocked upside down and all the way around. Luckily, you adjusted to your preschool pretty well and the adjustment to becoming a big brother? Well, it went as well as anyone could have expected. I think you thought you had a new toy to play with!
Your little brother was probably the single-best thing we did for you. You had a built-in playmate and he (by nature of his personality) forced you more and more into "OUR" world so that you couldn't retreat into your world as much. Your love for him is so obvious; your joy when he's gone and you see him again "Holden, I'm so glad you're back!" which is followed by hugs, is evidence of your love for him. He's the one person who can push you around and you don't fight it. He is your very best friend and you tolerate from him, what you tolerate from no one else.
Your interests have changed vastly.... whereas you once enjoyed all things dinosaurs, animals and ABCs, you've moved on to bigger and better things! Super heros, comics, and spelling things out takes up your time now (I guess your obsession with the ABCs paid off since it helped you spell). However, two things have never changed.... your love of movies and books! Wow! You could sit and watch movies all day with books in hand, ALL DAY LONG! As a matter of fact, I think you have on a few occasions!
You are now a big huge, 6th grader! You're just an inch shorter than me (though, being that I'm not quite 5foot tall, that doesn't say much), and well, you know how to throw your weight around! Strong, but sweet. Handsome, funny, smart as a whip! While you still have many years ahead of you for learning how to adjust to the world around you, I've got glimpses of who you will be. You will be caring, always happy, quick friend to others, and always, ALWAYS smiling. You adjust to new situations and new people better than any other kid I know; in fact, you thrive on the challenging and new.
We were blessed when we first found out I was pregnant with you, but I don't think we ever imagined just how much. You show us every day, in the face of adversity, just how awesome you are. We love you...... VERY VERY MUCH and I hope you have the very best of birthdays today!!!
Happy Birthday baby boy!