Eleven looks like this.
I would have never imagined in a million years. At eleven for my son Avery, that Disney sing-along would be on max volume on our television at 6 am.
At the age of eleven, my son, Avery, still has autism. I say this because, at the start of getting Avery diagnosed, we were told that many kids outgrow autism. Now years have passed, and we know that is not true.
Avery will forever have autism as part of his life.
There was a time when that would make me incredibly sad. I felt Avery was missing out on all the important things in life. Only to put into perspective that those things are important to me and may have never been important to Avery.
Avery's life has been a mystery of what he will do, what he will accomplish, and where life will take him. The one thing that stays constant is that for Avery's entire life, someone will always be there for him.
I pray that it is me.
But if it is not, I know he has a village of love around him ready to be available and help where help is needed.
My boy turned eleven today and celebrated with balloons, stuffed animals, and Disney cartoons.
My boy doesn't like to eat cake but loves to blow out candles which is a new skill he just mastered, and we are celebrating.
My boy is eleven, and his birthday may look nothing like another 11-year-olds birthday.
But it is the best for him because it is spent with family and all the things that bring him joy. And joy is all we want for Avery, who turned 11 and will continue to show the world that even with autism in his story, he is remarkable just the way he is.