My baby boy, my last child, turned six years old yesterday. My oh my how time flies. Just a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that there was no trace of baby left. He is all boy. That revelation brought a proud tear to my eye. He has been through some obstacles in his six years of life, but has the most joyous outlook on life. His smile and laughter are infectious. It is truly amazing how much he has grown in six years.
Caleb has always done things his way and in his time. He was my c-section baby because he changed his mind on being born after my water broke and changed positions. When he was born, he cried once and didn’t cry again. The neonatologists were brought in to examine him, but could find nothing wrong. I guess he just had nothing left to cry about.
He wasn’t a very fussy baby, which I thought at the time was a blessing. Then he didn’t hit his growth milestones. He wasn’t crawling by nine months, did not transition to solid food, and could sit for short periods of time if he extended his legs out. I couldn’t remember how old his brother was when he hit his milestones, so I tried not to worry about it and thought that Caleb would catch up. At his one year well-check, his pediatrician was concerned about his delays, so she referred us to the Babynet program and a pediatric neurologist. He was placed on the waiting list to see a developmental pediatrician.
He immediately started receiving early intervention therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. He did well with PT and was discharged at 18 months, as he could walk and run by that point. The speech and OT continued.
He finally saw the developmental pediatrician just after his 2nd birthday. He had a battery of tests before we got the diagnosis, autism. I already knew that he had it, but was devastated nonetheless. Then I set about trying to make sure he had everything he needed to succeed. Mama Bear was born.
He started school at age three and it has been a journey. I am still in Mama Bear mode and I imagine I always will be. Fighting to ensure your child gets the best education and best care is a constant battle.
Now he is six. He is in K5 and loves it. He has friends. He loves everyone indiscriminately. He has broken every stereotype of autism. He is kind, empathetic, smiles all the time, and is such a silly boy. He still does things his way, in his time. He is joyous and a delight to everyone who comes in contact with him. He still does things his way and in his own time. I have come to accept this as just his stubbornness to be himself.
I have no doubt that this kid will go places. I think he can do anything he wants to do in life. He is obsessed with vehicles, so maybe he will design cars when he grows up, which would make his Grandaddy especially happy. Who knows? The sky is the limit for my little peanut. This mommy will be there every step of the way to watch my little ball of fire and energy grow up. I love him more than can be put into words.