A decade of anything is worth celebrating. It’s a measurable chunk of time that suggests consistency, persistence, and resilience. And that’s why I am celebrating today.
10 years ago today, Naftali was born, 4 days late, after a very long, very slow labor that was the culmination of a difficult pregnancy. He was born at a time of significant personal chaos for me, and his diagnosis with Williams syndrome dovetailed with my own personal journey. In a sense, then, we grew up together, and when I reflect back, the lines between teacher and learner, mentor and student seem blurred.
In the last decade I’ve learned the power of belief, of persistence, of expectation. I’ve learned the value of slowing down, of support, of gratitude. But I’ve also felt the searing pain of rejection, the crushing weight of failure, the choking feeling of isolation.
And yet - as I mark 10 years of being Naftali’s mother, I feel only honor, pride, and joy - honor that I was chosen as his mother, pride in who he’s become and who he strives to be, and joy because no one can talk about Naftali without smiling. His deep wells of empathy humble me, his resilience inspires me, and his openness to the world around him emboldens me.
Happy birthday Naftali. I’m so lucky to be your mom.” - @naftaliknows