Today, my oldest turns 10. It's so hard to believe. Time really flies. I love him so much, but it's really hard to be happy on this day because nothing goes how a typical child's birthday should be. He doesn't acknowledge that this is his special day, so there is no child anticipation and joy to share with him. He wouldn't want to have a house full of people because they are too loud and invade his space, so there won't be a party. We will have a cake, but he doesn't eat solid foods, so he won't eat any. He cries whenever we sing Happy Birthday, so we don't. We will buy him gifts, but he won't open them or even care what they are. We are going on an outing today, and will try not to be terribly disappointed if he has a meltdown and have to leave right away. We will try to concentrate on all of the progress he has made this last year, and we do have some really awesome things to be grateful for: Owen will now feed himself (at school only), he took a drink from a cup before Christmas break, and he has been playing on the playground unassisted at school. He also used his communication device appropriately one time. Not what you typically think of as progress or things to get excited about when your child turns 10, but there is nothing typical about Owen. We've learned not to expect miracles, but to never underestimate what he can do. We measure success with a microscope, and expect two steps back for every forward one taken. I love him more than words can every adequately express.
Here are some layouts that made of Owen this past year. Most of the pics are older, and I have scrapped most of them more than once. It's difficult to get a good pic of him, so I treasure the ones that I can get.