My son has forever changed me.

I wrote this letter to my son last year.  It was during a time I was struggling with my inner self.  Writing out my thoughts has always been therapeutic for me, so on a night that my sons meltdown almost sent me over the edge, I needed to take time to myself, breathe, and write.

Here’s the letter I wrote to my son, Charlie.

My dearest Charlie,

I’m writing this letter as you lay sound asleep in your bed.  The only place in the world you will comfortably sleep.  Your safe place. You will likely never read this letter but I wanted to express my thoughts and feelings to you, because this is the only way I know how.

Charlie, you are now six years old and you cannot begin to fathom what an impact you’ve had on my life.

You were born two weeks after my due date.  You were stubborn back then, sitting comfortably in my womb, not wanting to budge; and that stubbornness has carried forward to present day. You are stubborn and rigid.  You like to have things your way and if they don’t go according to plan, well, I have brace myself for what’s to come.

My sweet Charlie, life hasn’t been easy for us, but you have no idea how proud I am of you.  You have come so far since your autism diagnosis three years ago.  Yes, we still have a long way to go, but you have exceeded my expectations.

You’re growing so fast right before my eyes, too fast for my liking.  You’re no longer the little boy I would cradle in my arms, carry around on my hip, or the boy I would toss up in the air and catch with ease.  You’re much too big and heavy now.

You’re a tall, wiry and handsome little boy and you have no idea how beautiful you are.  Your deep, big blue eyes are heart-stopping and you have eyelashes that go for miles. Your laugh is music to my ears and it’s something I look forward to every single day.

You have a lot of difficulty expressing yourself and communicating your feelings to those around you.  I’m so sorry if I don’t always know what you want, but I really do try my best.  I ache to have a conversation with you and I do believe it will happen, one day.  I just don’t know when.  I want to know what’s going through that beautiful head of yours. What are you thinking? What are you feeling?  I’m always left wondering.

Charlie, you have made me a better person.  You have changed my life in more ways than one.  I have learned to appreciate every single day I have with you.  I have learned to stop making snap judgements towards others because, as cliche as it sounds, one never knows what is going on behind closed doors.  Everyone has their own struggles and hardships.

I have become more compassionate and empathetic and I owe this all to you.  When I see a mother struggling with her child I now know that perhaps there is more to the behaviour than meets the eye.  Perhaps their situation goes deeper than a child who is simply misbehaving.  I no longer snicker or sneer at these children as I once did, I get it.

You don’t come without your challenges, we have good days and bad days.  But Charlie, my sweet boy, I will do everything and anything to help you cope with the world around you.  There are times you are so overwhelmed with your surroundings, I just wish I could protect and shield you to keep you happy and secure.  I’ll never stop trying.

I’m in awe of you and there are days I can’t believe you’re my son.  I wonder what I did to deserve such a special and wonderful child like you.

I hope that one day you will read this letter and understand the deep love and affection I have for you, I hope that day will come soon.

Thank you for being you, Charlie., autism and all.  To me, you’re perfect.  I love you, Charlie.

Always and forever,