Ian's Birthday, Whales and the Way Back Home

by Diane Hunter on February 2, 2012

IMG_0678In the quiet stillness of the morning, you decided it was time to transition from the warmth of my womb to the world of wonder awaiting your arrival.  As dawn broke, the sun rose over the hills spreading orange hues that lit up the violet sky and turned down the stars.  Fifteen hours later, after the sun traversed the sky blazing the trail for the moon, your father and I held you in our arms.

You joined us on the eve of February 1st 2002.

We greeted you with great expectations.  We celebrated your arrival surrounded by your aunties and grandparents.  Feelings of joy mixed with exhaustion flooded my senses as I watched your father gaze down upon you.

That evening, in the quiet of the hospital, after everyone had gone home, your father slept in the bed while I rocked you in my arms.  I whispered stories of love in your tiny little ears of what I believed our life would be together.  In that moment, I had no idea how powerful a teacher you would be in my life.

Very early on, I knew you were a very special child.  The neurologist diagnosed you with autism at 2 ½ years.  I sat in his office feeling as though the air had been sucked out of the room.  And there you stood, watching the birds fly, banging your hands on the window just as you did moments before, completely unaffected by the label.

Nothing changed and everything changed.

I swam in the depths of sadness and grief for quite some time.  At times I felt like I was drowning, pinned down by the force of crashing waves, over and over again.  I fought the waves, struggled to breathe, so full of fear.

You waited for me, standing on the sand, gazing up at the stars, birds flying above, watching the whales and dolphins play; your faith in me never waivered.

You patiently guided me to find my way back home to love.

A beautiful, pure love swirls around you and engulfs anyone that comes within your realm of being.  You touch lives with the simplest of interactions.  At the grocery story, the park, Costco and walking down the street.  Anyone who takes the time to connect with you experiences the joy of wordlessness and is forever changed by your love and sensitivity.  You teach each person what it means to truly connect from a place of love and peace.

I believe you showed up in this world as a profound teacher. Oh how the lessons have come fast and furiously.  Feels like a space shuttle burning up through the atmosphere, thoughts surfacing and burning up with a greater awareness.

You’ve taught me love blows fear to pieces.

I’m deeply grateful you chose me as your mother and continue to teach me to listen and lead from the place of peace and clarity.  I support your journey every day with love and renewed hope for a day when autism will no longer be a painful struggle for so many.

Whenever I feel a bit stressed or out of sorts, all I need to do is take a few deep breaths, get present and share a moment with you.  You show me the way back to love.

Happy Birthday dear sweet Ian.


{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Welty-Dapkus February 2, 2012 at 11:52 am

Diane…I’m having a quiet cup of tea and nursing a cold in the middle of the night and was drawn to your post. Such a beautiful reflection on motherhood, birth and the power of our children as teachers – no matter the tale they come to teach. Thank you for your sweet words on love and the celebration of the miracle of birth and RE-birth. Happy Birthday to Ian and to you Mother Diane.


Theresa February 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Tears are shining in my eyes, Diane. I’m sure you won’t mind that words cannot convey the depth of the emotion you shared with all your readers. Happy birthday precious Ian and welcome home, Diane.


Dana Frost February 2, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Dear Diane, You’ll have the global internet community blubbering all day! Grab your tissues! I’m searching for words to describe my feelings and isn’t it fitting that I have no words. Pure love. Thank you Ian for leading your mom home to love and thank you Diane, for the pleasure of being on the journey with you. Goosebumps running all over my body.


Diane Hunter February 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Thank you ladies for sharing your comments and love. He inspires me every single day and guess what, he continues to feel more at home in his body. No coincidence there. So many beautiful changes and shifts happening for both of us.

Sending you all tons of love.


Helen Samson Mullen February 3, 2012 at 2:12 am

Dearest Diane, you moved me to my core with this beautiful article. Your writing is every bit as powerful and gorgeous as your loving presence. Happy Birthday Dearest Ian and loving parents Diane and Lowell. Big love, Hxo


Blaze February 3, 2012 at 6:14 am

Happy Birthday Ian….your spirit soars today and everyday. Hugs Diane, Blaze


Fernanda February 4, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Happy birthday to Ian!


Troy February 5, 2012 at 12:49 am

Very well written… The love is evident in all of it! Happy Birthday Ian…


Christa February 6, 2012 at 2:03 am

This is so beautiful, Diane, and so very, very true. Happy belated Birth Day to you all…



Nancy February 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

This is so beautiful Diane, I love it! I see you in Ian’s eyes. He looks a lot like you! A big hug to my dear nephew – I cannot wait to see you all soooooon. xoxoxo LOVE YOU


Celine (Gabriella's mum) February 8, 2012 at 5:37 am

Thank you for this beautiful post
I can relate to a lot of what you’re sharing in this post, I too see all the love our special kids bring us and I also believe that they choose us to teach us or support us in our life too.
I really wanted to acknowledge you in seeing all those daily gift they bring to us, and I know it is not always an easy path.
I’m looking forward to seeing you next week at the camp.


Diane Hunter February 9, 2012 at 3:31 am

Thank you Helen. You’ve been a tremendous support through my journey back to love.

Blaze, Fernanda, Troy and Christa – thank you for taking a moment to post your thoughts. I deeply appreciate it.

Nancy, I’m beyond excited to see you in a couple weeks!! Thank you for sharing your comment. xoxo

Celine, you live it every day Momma. Ian and I look forward to seeing all of our friends next week! I’m excited to see all the changes in the children.


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