Family Birthday Celebrations and Michael’s Coming of Age

Well, November is here, and for our family, that means the celebration of a whole slew of birthdays. In November there is my mother’s, father’s, and my birthday that we usually celebrate with my side of the family at a breakfast or lunch, and my sister-in-law’s and my birthday which we celebrate with another lunch. The lunches are usually at someone’s house or at a breakfast place that is family centered, as that is easier with all the little children in our family now. It is a blessing to watch Michael fully understand the meaning of a birthday. When he was diagnosed with autism at three and a half years old, I still remember the psychologist asking him a question about birthdays and him staring blankly at her. He has come a long way to understanding what his own and other people’s birthdays mean in the family (cake and presents and family seeing one another), and advocating for what he wants to do on his birthday.


This year, he has requested a YMCA party with his friends and a Frozen themed birthday cake. Up to now we have done house parties, but now he wants to branch out to celebrate in centers. He also has told me who he wants to invite to his party. He is happily grateful though for whatever gifts he receives. I am proud that he sees the gifts as a nice bonus. The important thing of birthday celebrations for him are seeing his family and friends and celebrating his special day with them. He asks questions about his birth and what did I and his father think when we saw him. I tell him it was the happiest moment of both of our lives. I am happy that our special family celebration is right around the corner!

Joanne Giacomini is a fiction writer and a blogger. She blogs about how her son with autism is raising her at

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