Eleven years of belly laughs and volume set at three points beyond loud and a body in constant motion until he lays down at night, tousle-headed and full of smiles, wrapping an elbow around my neck in a death grip as he tells me I'm his real mommy forever and he loves me. He loves me so much.
And oh, do I ever love him back.
But he's not always easy, you know. Autism isn't easy, for either of us.
He's repetitive and sometimes wildly inappropriate. When I'm trying to write he'll sit next to me sometimes, insisting that I do pretend voices for all his action figures and refuses to take no for an answer. When he has a meltdown -which isn't as often now that he's older, thank goodness - he's big enough to put a hurt on me now.
Days like that, we work it through. If there's one thing this kid has taught me, it's perseverance. And blinding faith in the belief that we love each other, so it's all okay.
We love each other, so it will always be okay.
We love each other, and that's that.
Every time the clock reaches 11:11 and his sister happens to see it, she yells it out loud and says "Make a wish!"
I wish for the same thing, every single time. I figure with him being born on 11/11, I've got really good odds.
I wish for happiness, for him, and for his sister, no matter where their life paths lead them. No matter how it all fleshes out for them. No matter where the chips fall. I wish them happy.
That's all they need, you see, because they love each other, and I love them, and we all love, and because of that, we'll be okay.
I know, because David believes it with an unshaking faith that I lean on more than I ever let people know. He's like everyone's own personal sun, and we orbit around him, soaking in the love.
So for this 11/11, I ask simply that you wish with me. Wish him happy, all of his days.
He's got everything else he needs.
Ellie is the author of David And Me Under The Sea: Essays From A Decade With Autism.