I can hardly believe that it has been 7 years since we first met. I remember it like it was yesterday. That moment remains in a three-way tie for the happiest day of my life.
You changed me in so many ways. You have taught me what it means to be a man and father, unconditional love, acceptance, patience, the danger in projecting my dreams onto others and how to avoid a head-butt. Each day since you were born has been brighter. Even the darkest days with you in my life are brighter than the best days before you were born. You give life reason and meaning. You have shown me my mission.
I am so proud of all you do. Every little added skill, word, sign and ability makes me marvel at your can-do spirit and your ferocity at tackling life’s challenges.
If I could have designed the “perfect daughter” before you were born, autism certainly wouldn't have been in the equation. That is why I am glad we as parents have no say in who enters our lives as children. I am glad and proud that you are OUR daughter, autism and all. I can’t imagine my life without you exactly as you are. Of course I hope that you can overcome the obstacles life has placed in your path, and I know you will do your best.
I have said it before; you are the greatest birthday gift… EVER. So as I share this 7th birthday with you, please know that I love you for the person you are and for the person YOU want to be. I will serve as your protector, your champion and your father all along the way; never regretting that you came into my life. I hope that as you grow older I can impart on you that just because something is a challenge, doesn't mean that it isn't enjoyable, rewarding and worthy of love.
Thank you for 7 years of lessons. I look forward to a lifetime more. .. smiling, laughing and loving all the way.
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