Tomorrow, 11 years ago, I gave birth to my second child. Jimmy and Jacob were born roughly 28 months apart. On October 29, 2003, the word autism wasn't really in my daily vocabulary. I thought I was giving Jimmy a best friend and playmate. And I did. But in Jacob, I gave him a voice, an advocate, a defender - a little big brother. No child is going to go through life not resenting having a brother with a disability 100% of the time. With Jacob, that resentment is very rare. He loves Jimmy deeply and is fiercely loyal to him.
This blog started and remains an autism blog, but I would be remiss if I celebrated my dear son solely through its lens. Jacob is a sweet, sensitive soul who sees the world in amazing ways. He is as comfortable in a room full of adults as he is kids. He can talk to anyone and most walk away pretty amazed at his ability to be interesting and articulate. Jacob is smart as a whip and alternates between unnatural focus and the realm of complete squirrel!
Jacob has a growing collection of musical souvenirs from our many concerts together. He has his own tastes, but has done more than embrace mine - he has claimed them as his own. His birthday party - Saturday night to see Capital Cities with friends. His birthday present - the following Saturday with me and Tori to see Fitz and the Tantrums. He is already considering two important questions - what to wear and what flowers to bring for their singer. Jacob is already a self professed ladies man. And he shares our love of travel and is anxious to use his passport again.
I look at my son and can't see who exactly he will be or what he will do, but I see no limit in what he could do. I know that this 11 year old will rapidly become a teen. That always holds the distinct possibility that he will not want anything to do with me for several years. I am not sure I am ready for that. For now, I celebrate all that my compassionate, smart, witty son is. Happy birthday Jacob... I love you with all my heart.