Monday, March 2, 2015

Help, I Have A Teenager!

I had a natural birth with Tommy.

I'm kidding.

I asked for the drugs early on. I know my limits.

This is how a real person looks after giving birth without makeup. I'll never understand the people who insist on putting makeup on before pushing out a person.

I was freaked out because I was 19 and I had never been around children before. As an only child, I did not have to share my belongings. As an only child, I was given a generous allowance so I never had to babysit to earn extra money. There was really nothing expensive I wanted anyway. Some people lust over name brand clothes. I always lusted over books.

Tommy was a total surprise. I discovered I was pregnant in college. I realized it was not normal to suddenly start dry heaving for no reason. The students around me probably assumed I had spent the previous night partying as I gagged into my palm.

Nope. My body was busy creating a person.

When Tommy was handed to me, I didn't know if I was holding him right. He stared at me. I stared at him. I asked him to please be a good baby because I didn't know what I was doing.

Unlike his sister, he listened.

He only cried when he was hungry or when his diaper was wet.

He was a happy baby.

His photo was even in the background on the Regis and Kelly show for the Beautiful Baby Contest. This photo:

He loved to pretend:

He loved The Wiggles:

Still, I discovered he was different when he was around two. He was barely speaking. When I'd take him to the park, he'd pace back and forth, back and forth. He would not play with the other children. He'd make piles around the house.

He was still a happy kid, but I could not take him out the house. He'd run down store aisles, refusing to stay in the cart. I'd beg him to stay put, please stay put, and he'd scream, tilting his body out of my arms.

I'd sometimes stare at him, and he'd look pensive, as if his mind were working on a completely different wave than my own.

I'd later learn that it was.

In Kindergarten, he'd have meltdowns. The teacher would call me daily. I didn't know what to do. She'd say, "Tommy won't sit still. Tommy cries all the time." I wanted to help my boy.

We'd later find out he had Autism.

But Autism didn't stop my boy from being a cool kid:

I'd watch in awe as he became obsessed with various subjects: the human body. The weather. Video games. (He loves learning about the original Nintendo and Atari.)

And even though he won't admit it, I know he loves his sister. He used to use her as a road for his cars:

He prefers that she not touch his things or bug him, but he is a great big brother even if Natalie is like, "WTF is this kid doing?"

Today he is 13.

But he will always be my little boy.


  1. Happy Birthday to him! I'm an only child, as well.

  2. Such adorable pictures of Tommy! Aww! Happy 13th birthday to him! :)

  3. Happy birthday to Tommy! God's blessings on you all! And I know HE has truly blessed you all. I think of you all often. I am the youngest daughter in a family of six children, my being fifth in the line. Four brothers and a sister. They are all gone, but I have been blessed to have had them. I was away from my birth family when I had my children and had only Dr. Spock and my unknowledgable husband to consult. Hmmm. This is probably more than you wanted to know. Best wishes... Ruby

  4. Awww Happy Birthday!! You looked like a baby having a baby. My oldest was the handful and my youngest the calm laid back kid. They like each other as long as they are in their own rooms not talking :) I love the picture of Natalie looking up like WTF that is priceless

  5. Happy Birthday, Tommy!!! :)

  6. Love your birthday post to Tommy. My oldest turned 20 yesterday, and I have no idea how that happened so fast. Great pictures! Hope he has a wonderful birthday!

  7. So sweet!! Happy Birthday to Tommy!! It is fun to have teenage boys!!

  8. I can't believe he's 13 already! Happy Birthday to Tommy!

  9. Happy birthday, Tommy!! Welcome to teenager-hood!

  10. Awwww, so sweet! Welcome to the teen years, Tommy!

  11. The time just flies! Hope he enjoys his FB account!
    I'm reading Miracle in March by Juliet Madison and the main guy's son is autistic. It's good so far!

  12. what a great post!! happy birthday to your boy!!

    good luck on the teens...i'll meet you at the mad house in 7 years? (that's when kayla turns 13).

  13. What a wonderful mom you are, and what a blessed boy you have!
    Happy Birthday to him, and kudos to you!

  14. Happy, happy birthday to your fabulous boy!

  15. Happy 13th to your little MAN! :D :D
    Natalie's face in that picture is the best thing EVER! Both of your children are beautiful! :)

  16. Awww! I teared up reading this post. You can definitely tell how much you love your family. You're an inspiration!

  17. Happy birthday!

    You are the second person I know who was a young mom with an austistic child. I don't know how you guys do it. You are amazing.

    Also, Natalie's face is priceless.

  18. Happy Birthday Tommy! He has the most precious eyes. The WTF face is priceless!!

  19. Happy Birthday Tommy!! :) And I really wish there was a way for him and Jayce to connect. I am SO sick of hearing about the original nintendo systems and what year they came out and blah blah blah :P

  20. Happy birthday sweet tommy!! He just keeps getting more handsome!!!

  21. I kept wanting to get here this week to wish you a happy 13 years of motherhood, and of course 13 years for your cutie.
    Ok I did have makeup on with Des but ONLY because he was rather sudden. I was out and about for the day and.. things changed fast. No time to go home and pack, in fact!
    Beautiful story. Beautiful photos. How often are you told that you're a great photographer of people?


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