All the Things I Love About You

Jodi Shenal by Jodi Shenal Additional Needs

Jodi Shenal

Jodi Shenal

I'm a stay-at-home mom with two amazing children. My son is on the Autism spectrum and my daughter has a rare genetic disorder and multiple disabil...

From the moment you wake up every morning, there is a contagious, bright smile on your face.

You may take a few minutes to stretch and clap your hands before agreeing to be picked up from your bed, but you always greet the day with happiness.

I love the way you gently pat your Daddy on his back, as he’s simultaneously patting yours, when he lifts you up for that first morning cuddle.

I may get just a little frustrated as you crawl away when I’m giving your morning meds, but you always cut your eyes at me in the funniest way to make me laugh.

At nearly nine years old, you certainly don’t need words to convey a little bit of sass and attitude. With merely the raise of an eyebrow, you tell me so very much.

I love that you have such a silly and strong personality.

When we’re out in public, the joy that you exude amazes me.

No matter where we are, you acknowledge every person that passes by, and you flash that dazzling grin of yours.

Everyone comments that you’re the happiest child they’ve ever seen. No one is a stranger; no one is unworthy or unwelcome to you.

I love that you don’t see others’ differences and that you have the ability to melt the hardest heart with your grace.

In the car on our way to school, I always ask you if you’re excited to see your teachers and friends. Your response of loud, robust clapping is easily understood.

On our trip, every morning, I play the same song for you, “Somebody to Love.” I light up when I hear you let out the most gleeful squeal, each time, with the very first note.

I sing way off key and I watch in the rearview mirror as you kick your little feet to the beat. I love our “conversations” and that music seems to move your soul, just like it does mine.

At home, you babble excitedly when your big brother leans down to speak to you.

When your Daddy is in the room, he’s never far out of your reach. Seeing you pull up to stand beside him, wanting to be constantly by his side, is the sweetest sight.

When I’m finally able to lure you away and grab you up to read a book, you snuggle up close and laugh when I kiss your forehead.

You amaze me by turning the pages each time I pause in reading. Every time we get to your favorite page, you let out the liveliest giggle and press your tiny nose into the picture.

I love the way you interact with your family, and the special bond that you share with each of us.

I love how smart you are and that you recognize all of your favorite things.

You are so very loved, little one. I could fill hundreds of pages with the reasons why you’re loved.

You’re one of a kind and you bring wonder into our lives.

I’ve never met another person with the strength, determination and zest for life that you have.

I love that I get to be your Mom. You make me want to be a better person, and our world is so much better because you’re in it.

I love all the wonderful things about you.


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