To say that our relationship has grown this year, Ez, is the understatement of the year. I feel like I've been given you all over again. We've always had a rough-ish relationship, full of ups and downs and tears from both sides. But...you've mellowed...and...I suppose, so have I.
I think the turning point was when we started the ASD diagnosis process last Spring. I was receiving all sorts of insights into your personality and, most importantly, it was a great reminder of all the good traits you have. And, Ezra, you have SO very many of them.
First off, you are the single most reliable, dependable little boy I know. How many 1st grade boys can be sent to school with 3 different tupperwares and a spoon and be depended upon to bring them all home? 'cause you can. You're a rule follower. Once the rule has been established, you do it. End of discussion. That doesn't mean you don't fight me sometimes. You infamously once insisted that I couldn't set a new rule cause I "can only make new rules on a First Day or a holiday!" (meaning a First Day like the first day of school). You don't hesitate to complain fully while doing the task, but at least, at the end of the day, you still do it. Heaven knows you keep me following the rules. If I try to stray outside the line and do something crazy like, I don't know, do your hair on a Saturday (the rule states that hair must be done only for school or church) or buy you whitie-tidies instead of boxer briefs, you make sure to pull me back in line and let me know that deviating from the rules is simply not acceptable. Oh, silly boy, how you make me smile.
Silly is right! That funny, often obnoxious Silliness Stage is in full swing with you, Ezzie Boy. You'll often answer our questions with a chicken cluck and spend more time rolling around on the ground instead of upright. I'll admit, I have a hard time with silliness, but I guess I'd rather you be crazy and annoying than mean and tantruming (which you are occasionally too). I'll try to value this stage more. Heaven knows I'll probably be missing it when the teenage angst hits.
You're a pretty passionate little boy and have lots of loves. Obsessiveness is a quality of ASD and you definitely have it! You're particular obsession right now is with Legos in general and Heroica Lego games in particular. You've been talking for months about all the cool Lego things you're going to get for your birthday and what you're going to do with the windfall of birthday money you insist that you're getting (thank heavens Auntie Steph is sending $10...which is pretty much a windfall in your book). You love the color orange (thanks to your cousin, Greyson) and The Chinese Rest-ur-naunt more than anything in this world. You love to sing and dance in your funny, I-can't-help-myself way to all sorts of different music. You love Tonight Tonight by Hot Chelle Rae and Maroon 5's Moves Like Jagger. You're also big fan of Fun. right now, in particular (which, of course, I'm not complaining about ;). You're in first grade and you enjoy it so much, although you are a bit disgruntled with the length of the day...a whole 7 hours, you like to point out. You are so smart, it's ridiculous. You memorize things like a crazy-pants and do math weeellll above your grade level. It's nice to not have to worry about math with you, especially since it's definitely a skill I lack. You love hiking and camping and beg to do both regularly. Your biggest ambition in life right now is to hike The Subway in Zion's National Park with your Daddy one day.
You love your siblings and, heaven knows, they love you. Oakie, in particular, thinks you're the best thing since sliced bread. Their free-spirited ways don't always mesh well with your need for structure and rules, but I think y'all probably bring out the best (and sometimes worst ;) of each other. Don't take their love for granted, Ezra Emil. Remember that they're people too and deserve your kindness and respect.
Oh, Ezra, my Sunshine...I love you so. You make me so happy. Remember that always. Even when I'm angry and frustrated with you...you always bring me joy. Remember to be patient with the people around you, Ezra. Not everyone feels and thinks the way you do. Be tolerant of them. Also, Ezzie Boy, remember that while you are oh-so-smart, you are not the smartest and you have a lot to learn from a lot of different people. I love you with all of my soul, my first son. I love you so very, very, very much.
Happy 7th Birthday, Ezra Emil!