Once you hardly moved. Now you are running.
Once you hardly cried. Now your cry is heard and understood.
Once you barely spoke. Now you ask a million-seventy-two questions per day.
Once you could not hold anything in your poor low-tone fingers. Now you can write two sentences, easily.
Once you could not read the pages of the books you flipped through obsessively. Now you read. Out loud. To us. All the time.
Once you needed oxygen nightly. Now you are the oxygen that brings such depth to our family.
Once you needed a feeding tube. Now we tell you to slow down when you eat your meals.
Once you were a “floppy baby.” Now you climb rock walls and ropes courses (in harnesses, that is) with amazing tenacity and fearlessness.
Once you needed so many doctor and specialists. Now you have only two.
Once you just sat there and looked around, peacefully, but not engaged. Now you play, talk, socialize, giggle and have dance parties with us.
Once you were a diagnosis. Now you are my beloved son who outshines any diagnosis or label.
HAPPY 9TH BIRTHDAY TO RYAN, OUR SWEET LITTLE PRINCE!!!
YOU. HAVE. COME. SO. FAR.