photo (8)Tonight as I watched 7 candles flicker on Bridger’s birthday cake the war of emotions in my heart was intense. Probably like most moms, my kid’s birthdays are always bitter-sweet. Watching my oldest turn 18 was so exciting yet painful as we faced the push and pull of her struggle for independence. Pretty soon I’ll be watching my 13 year old turn 14 with sparkling eyes full of her dreams but suddenly talking about boys and driving. Yikes! And my baby turned 5 not long ago. It’s incredible watching him grow and learn. He will be in kindergarten next year…exciting and sad at the same time. But watching my 6 year old autistic, sweetie pie turn 7 provoked a storm of feelings in me, feelings of hope, fear, love, sadness and many other things that felt heavy.

The progress that Bridger has made over the last 7 years has been amazing…more than amazing. We have been seriously watching a miracle daily. He went from a fragile 2 pounder to a giant presence full of life and love and joy and strength and complex beauty. So why do “they” keep limiting his potential by saying that you can only treat autism at an early age? From the beginning I was aware of the looming age of 7, wondering what that would mean for us, if the progress would just stop, what life would look like after that deadline? We have come so far but still have so far to go, much too far to put a time limit on my sweet boy’s potential!DSC00328

It is here now. As the candles burned we began knocking on the door, waiting for it to open so that we can peer inside and see what our son’s future will be. Even local politicians confirmed our greatest fear this year by voting for bills that treat children only until the age of 7 (HB88) and the age of 9 (SB57). The message was loud and clear and in my opinion very short sighted because when all is said and done, it doesn’t matter what “they” say. Nothing will stop us. Not politicians. Not research. Not age. Not money. We will keep moving forward. I just know that Bridger will continue to progress to heights that we have not even imagined for him yet. His spirit and determination won’t end because we added a candle to his cake, nor will ours.

After Bridger’s dad and brother helped him blow out the candles while I made a silent wish, we all ate some cake (Bridger just ate the candy off of it which was strategically placed there because his mommy knows he doesn’t like cake). Then we went outside with our big 7 year old. As he jumped on his brand, new trampoline his giggles and squeals of delight soothed my soul. The storm inside my heart was calm, the fear dissipated. As I looked into the deep blue eyes of my smiling boy the heaviness was gone and there was only one pervasive thought flooding my mind and heart “It’s a beautiful life. Really, really beautiful.”

“There’s a light making it’s way. On up the mountain night and day. And you’ll get tired and you’ll get weak, But you won’t abandon your masterpiece.” –Jakob Dylan