Declyn (my youngest son) will be turning fourteen tomorrow. And, as with every year, I asked him what he was hoping for on his birthday.
His answer began as an almost identical reflection of last year's. Without hesitation he shared his birthday wish. "I want everyone to be happy. I want my birthday to be about feeling good and not worrying about being broke or too far away or anything like that. I just want everyone to feel good and happy."
I smiled, and understood. And as I was about to suggest he add at least an idea of what he wanted to do or get on his fourteenth birthday he interrupted my almost interruption by continuing to express his birthday hopes. "I want everyone to be happy, except I don't have to be happy. It's my birthday so I want to be allowed to let my mood go wherever it wants. At school and at home I usually work at being happy and nice. But on my birthday I just want to be whatever I am. I can be happy or cranky or sad... that's what I want."
I had a lovely laugh and promised to give him exactly that!!
Heck, he'll be fourteen after all. And that's all about moodiness!!
Besides, I'm betting that if he lets his mood go wherever it wants, he'll learn the always important and life enhancing lesson that happy and friendly just feel better. And that when we work a bit to hold onto them, the work is always worth it.
Now that's a birthday present that can't be bought!!
However, as I recall, last year Declyn did finally succumb to my peer pressure when I urged him to give me an idea of at least one thing he wanted to get as a gift. He suggested colorful straws. And, as it happens, we just ran out of colorful straws. I know what I'm buying when I head into town today!
So this year my fourteen year old son will be surrounded by happy family members, a freedom to let his mood be the boss, and colorful straws. Not too shabby!!
Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)
|My husband and my youngest son, Declyn,
at his eighth grade graduation.
This kid is learning a lot,
in and out of school!!