Happy Birthday NHL!

Today, NHL turns 11.  Don’t ask me how this happened.  It’s still a mystery to me.  One minute, we were bringing him home and then I blinked and he grew up.  Now he’s headed to middle school in a couple of weeks.  NHL has a habit of asking me if I’m proud of him, usually for getting some random video game accomplishment.  Here’s what I’m really proud of NHL for:


  • He’s a very kind individual.  At a recent family function, he kept hugging family members over and over.  To the point that he hugged a complete stranger – I think he was a waiter – because he mistook him for a family member.  NHL cares about people with all of his heart and hates to think of them being sad.


  • He’s passionate about what he loves and isn’t afraid to flaunt that passion.  Whether it be video games, super heroes, math, or Doctor Who, NHL is always ready to tell anyone everything they could ever want to know about the subjects that he loves the most.


  • He’s honest.  Ok, at times he can be honest to a fault.  He shouldn’t blurt out to one of his cousins which cousin he likes the best.  Still, this is all part of his learning how to navigate the social rules.  In general, though, he hates lying and prefers to tell the truth.


  • He’s not afraid to speak his mind to stand up for himself or ask for what he wants.  This can be tough for some with Asperger’s.  They will assume that they will mess something up socially and will just shut up and take whatever comes their way.  I know that I’ve been guilty of that far too many times in my past.  NHL has been learning to speak up when he needs to, though.  Again, he will sometimes take this too far and speak up when silence would be best, but this is just him learning the social rules and regulations.  I’d rather him have to dial it back a bit than to think he shouldn’t speak up at all.


Part of me can’t wait to see how much NHL grows in another year.  However, another part of me doesn’t want him to grow up anymore.  That part of me just grew when I had to pour over old photos of NHL to compile a special video highlighting NHL’s growth.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll leave you with the video while I cry over my baby growing up.  Happy birthday, NHL!