By Julia Ryan
Having a child changes your whole world…. You hear it all the time but honestly, it really does. Once that beautiful baby arrives in the world, the sleep-ins are a thing of the past. Most meals are eaten cold. You find yourself still in your pjs at 3pm. You wonder how you’re going to get through another day with having had 4 hours sleep the night before. You’re emotional, you’re tired, scared, happy, anxious but somehow it doesn’t seem to matter, because you are now holding your little bundle of joy and realise that they’re all yours.
All the worries seem to slip away when you look into your baby’s eyes and you realise they are THE MOST beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.
The day William arrived in this world, I wondered how I got that lucky…. A beautiful little boy who I had waited years to meet. There was a photo taken of him when he was only 2 days old with his hands on his chin and we could see then, that he was going to be a gentle soul. A kind, wise little thinker who looked like he’d been here before.
As time has gone on and William approaches his 5th birthday, I wanted to write him a little message that he can take with him as he grows into the amazing boy I know he is and will continue to be…
To my boy, Will
We welcomed you into this world with so much love around you. You really were a gorgeous little boy, and my whole world was complete when I held you in my arms.
Your first birthday came around so fast and we celebrated with all your friends and family. One year already gone, but the best year by far. Your 2nd birthday was made all the better because your baby brother Ryder was with us. There was an instant bond between you both, and one that you will always have.
Our family of 4 was now complete and we were loving life in our new home. Your 3rd and 4th birthdays flew by. Your beautiful calm nature always there for everyone to love and adore.
Now, as your 5th birthday approaches, I seem to get a little teary when I think about it. Teary and emotional because my little boy is growing up. My little boy is starting Primary School next year. It’s happy tears because I know what we’ve been through and how far you have come. We’ve faced some challenges, but we’ve accomplished so much more.
I tell you all the time how proud of you I am, so I hope over the years you are nothing but proud of yourself too.
I want to thank you my love. Thank you for choosing me to be your mummy. Thank you for letting me be your voice and teaching me to celebrate the small things in life.
Thank you for changing me for the better and allowing me to guide you the best way I know how.
Know that along with your little brother – you are my greatest achievement and nothing in this world are more important to me than you both. Know that you were sent to me for a reason. I was meant to be your mummy, and you were meant to be my son.
You have taught me to be patient, more understanding and to take the time to really understand your needs. We have taught each other that. When I look at you, I’m reminded that I need to keep smiling when things get tough, and to think about all the things we should be grateful for.
I want to tell you to never get discouraged. Never give up on what you believe in. Believe in yourself. Know that you are capable, brave and so very special. Know that you are worth it. Reach for the stars and keep reaching until you’ve caught them all.
You will make friends, no doubt about it. You have that beautiful calm nature about you, it may just be a little different and take a little longer.
Your real friends will be patient with you. They will spend the time to really understand you, to compliment your strengths and guide and help you through your struggles. If people around you aren’t going to be kind, then beautiful boy they are not worth your time. They are not worth worrying about.
Treasure your friends. They will help you through so much. Keep the negative people at a distance and speak up for yourself, William. Speak your mind and stand up for what you believe in, and I will always be there for you whenever you need advice. I will always listen. I will always have the time for you.
There are going to be times when people challenge you for being different. Peers will think they’re better than you. It may not always be nice words coming your way. You have to be the bigger person. You have to have the positivity and confidence to not let them bring you down. Your time should not be wasted on them.
Will, I will do my everything to teach you self-worth, kindness and resilience. I will encourage you to follow the path that makes you happy. If you’re happy, then I am happy. Your health, happiness and safety will always be my number one priority and I never want you to forget that.
As the years go on, your days will be spent at school, you won’t see mummy as much. You’ll want to go out and play, have fun and socialise. Go for it my gorgeous boy. Go and see the world and soak up every opportunity. I will need to let go at times, and let you make mistakes. I will need to watch you go through times that may be challenging for you. I know I’ll want to wrap you up in my arms though and fix it all for you, but in order for you to grow, learn and discover the world for what it is, I need to let you figure some things out for yourself.
Making mistakes will be the stepping stones to your success. I want you to go to the movies, ride your bike with your friends, give everything a go and live life to the fullest. I will encourage you to try different sports. Try everything before you find your passion. I will be there on the sidelines cheering you on. Your love of music may lead you down the path of taking up music lessons and playing a musical instrument, and I think that would be wonderful. Music’s always been a calming tool for you, and I know how much you love it.
Keep loving Kindergarten, William. We’ve really found a special place to spend your kinder years. I know you will have fond memories of the people that made it so special and supportive for you.
Your School Years.
I hope I’ve picked the best school for you Will. It’s been a tough decision deciding where would suit you best, but I think I’ve made the right one. I hope it’s the one that’s going to make you the happiest. Give you the most support and one that will allow your strengths to shine through. Where they value you and the beautiful, smart, unique mind that you have.
Any school should feel proud to have you. I wish for it to be the best days of your life. I wish for you to gain all the positive friendships, life’s lessons and skills to take you into the phase of your life, but if things don’t work out, then we will find another path and keep pushing forward.
We’ve done it many times before, and we will do it again if we have to. And then my love, just like that school will be over. You’ll have had a lot of great experiences. Some good, and possibly some bad. You’ll then go on and follow your passion. You may want to go to University. You might want to travel. You have the whole world ahead of you and I can’t wait to see what you make of yourself.
But please don’t grow up to fast beautiful boy. Stay that kind, caring and gentle soul that I knew you were when I held you in my arms for the first time.
And so, my gorgeous boy, in a few days you will be 5 years old. So, here’s to an early Happy birthday to you for the 20th July.
One last thing. Never forget who you are and what you stand for. Be proud and always have positivity around you. Don’t stand for anything else.
Above all else William, Be happy. Love your number one fan, and the one that will always be by your side. Your Mummy x
As well as being Co-Founder of the program William Ready, Julia Ryan is also a devoted wife and mother to two children, one on the Autism Spectrum and one neurotypical. After the birth of Julia’s first son William, and his subsequent diagnosis, Julia became dedicated to Early Intervention and best practices for her son. And now through the William Ready program is able to use her personal experience and research to help others.Follow their journey on Facebook @williamready.com.au