Monday, December 7, 2009

Matty's Birthday

Another measure of a year gone by is the happy occasion of our son's birthday. He will be 11 years old tomorrow, December 8th. I remember this time 11 years ago and I know my wife certainly does as she was in labor the whole night and was in pain but as soon as Matthew was born and placed in her arms it was a very special time for both of us and all the pain subsided in that glorious moment for her when we became a family of three. It was a time of great joy and we were all so delighted and excited. I remember thinking how tiny he was as he weighed 6 lbs 13 oz and was born with a cone head. The nurses put a knit cap on his head after they cleaned him and put him in his bassinet. He looked so cute and it was the most incredible feeling I ever felt and Maria looked warn out from the experience but also was very happy.

It seems the years have flown by as we have gone through the stages of infancy, toddler, young child and now preteen with our son. It seems like only yesterday we were changing diapers and now we are making sure he is up by 6:15 am so he can have breakfast before his school bus arrives to take him to middle school. I am just amazed how fast 11 years have gone by. I remember it vividly when Matthew was born. It was around 5:00 am when he was born and I can picture the room Maria and I were in and all the medical team and the nurse who held our baby for me to see before she rested him in Maria's arms. I just get such a feeling of happiness and joy when I think back to that time.

I don't know if it is Autism related but Matthew insists that his birthday is in March even though we know he was born in December. Even when we buy him presents and birthday cake he insists it is not his birthday and he refuses to open his presents and will not accept his birthday cake. It is quite puzzling to us and we wonder when he will grow out of this as it does get frustrating and a bit upsetting. Initially we went along with him but now we feel it is not proper because he's been denying his true birthday now since he was 5 years old and we just don't get it.

For us as a family we feel it is important to commemorate his birthday and I feel very upset when we can not share his birthday with others. Even at school he does not want a celebration on his real birthday and we find ourselves explaining this to his teacher. It just makes me scratch my head and wonder why. Sometimes I don't understand the mindset of an autistic child and find myself wondering how best to handle this type of situation. I know when I was a kid I always looked forward to celebrating my birthday. Now I want to forget my birthday and keep a low profile on my special day. I do however recognize the day and try to visit my parents at the cemetery on that day because they gave me life and I am very grateful.

We remember when Matthew was a baby and how life was so different as we were focused on him and concerned with his development. We have learned a lot through the years and still are learning and he is very special to us. We feel we are on a roller coaster sometimes with the ups and downs we have experienced and we know the ups are more than the downs but we are trying to minimize the downs and feel we have no control over the situation so we just have to ride it out and hope for the best and always be there to protect him which we have done since day one and will for our lifetime.

I delight in going shopping for birthday presents for Matthew and love to surprise him with things he likes such as puzzles, cars, drawing pads and rolls of paper. It is a joy to see him eagerly open his presents even if he insists that they not be opened until Christmas with the presents he receives from Santa.

So as another year goes by and we get to experience that special day that Maria gave birth to our son we are just so thrilled and overjoyed and reminded of that special day 11 years ago and I am so grateful to be given such a precious gift and am happy for Maria that she is a mother of a very special boy and I am the lucky father. This is what makes life so wonderful.

Happy Birthday Matthew!
Congratulations Maria on giving birth to our special little boy!

Edward D. Iannielli III

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Please feel free to read my writings and leave a kind message or suggestion. Thank you. Emily