I would like you to REALLY meet my little boy.


mommy and wes
wes and mom farm
wes tractor
wes tractor smiling
wes cute smile
wes cute faceDear New Friend,

When you FIRST meet me you might see…

A little guy who looks like any other 4.5 year old boy.
I often have bed head and scrapes on my knees.
I play with trains and cars and pirates and Legos.
I like to get dirty and wrestle.
I laugh with my whole heart and have a gap toothed smile that could make your knees buckle.

If you look a little closer you might also see…

A little boy who won’t always look you directly in the eyes.
You might see a boy who has trouble sitting still and using a whisper voice.
You might see a boy who seems to be acting too young for his age.

Maybe you’ll think I’m rude. Or disrespectful. Some have even called me spoiled.
But those who have spent time with me–they know the real me.

Loud noises and sudden movements can make me anxious, so tread lightly until you’ve earned my trust.  I might growl at you and pretend I’m a dinosaur when we first meet. This just means I’m nervous.  Be patient with me and then I’ll do my best to warm up to you.

If I do talk to you, I’ll probably use my silly voice which is hard for you to understand. Then you’ll have to look at my Mommy or Daddy to translate for me.  They translate for me a lot.

If you try to touch me or give me a high five I’ll probably be reluctant and shrink back.  But this doesn’t mean I don’t like you. It just means that I’m being careful.  I don’t let people in quickly, but when I do you’ll get my whole heart.

If you come to my house, there’s a good chance I won’t be wearing a shirt…or pants.   Clothes hurt my skin sometimes.  Especially collars and buttons and long sleeves and tags…so my Mommy cuts the tags out for me.

If I come over to your house for dinner please don’t get your feelings hurt if I don’t eat your food.  You see, I’m a really picky eater.  Most foods smell weird to me and make my mouth fill with saliva, and I don’t like how that feels.  Strange smells and textures make me anxious.

In fact, I get anxious a lot.
I’m scared of the dark and the sound of the toilet flushing when I’m alone in the bathroom.  I’m afraid of doctors and blood and pain—and I love bandaids because they hide what’s broken and help me feel some peace.  I love to go swimming but I’ve never put my head under the water.  If you were to stay the night at my house, you might wake up several times a night to my screams and cries.  Don’t worry too much, I’m just having another bad dream. I have them a lot.

Often times I get so frustrated that I hit and kick the people I love.
Sometimes I’ll even throw toys and knock over furniture when I’m really upset.
I don’t mean to. I don’t want to.  I just can’t help it, and after I do it I feel even worse.

Then with tears streaming down my cheeks I’ll tell you how sorry I am for hurting you.
And even though it’s not always easy for me to apologize, I promise I really mean it.
Because I know it makes you sad.  It makes me sad too.
I want to be able to change for you, but I don’t know how—and that makes me even more frustrated.

This world I live in seems to move so fast. And sometimes I just wish it would slow down.  I wish I could stay in my undies and eat cookies and play cars and jump on my trampoline and swing on the swings all day.  The swings help me calm down.

Rules give me comfort and structure but I can only take so many of them before it can be hard for me to live in my own skin—before I begin to feel claustrophobic, suffocated—and then I lash out.  I have so many thoughts in my head and feelings in my heart, but I can rarely find the words to share those emotions with the people in my life.  It feels like we’re speaking a different language, and that can be a very lonely place for a 4.5 year old boy.

I feel extra frustrated when things don’t go the way I imagined them in my head. Like when my favorite donut place runs out of the pink ones with the sprinkles.  Or when I accidentally color outside of the lines in my work book.  Or when my sand castle falls over or when my friends don’t follow the rules of the game we’re playing.  Those things make me feel like I’m losing control—and having control is what makes me feel safe.

I know my Mommy worries about me a lot.
She’s been trying really hard to be less worried lately because she has learned this only makes me more anxious.  She’s been trying to be stronger…for me.

Sometimes I can here her praying at night.
I hear her asking Heavenly Father to please oh please, above all else…make sure Wesley’s happy.
I hear her ask for strength. And perspective.  And patience. And softness. And faith.
Sometimes I want to run in when I hear her praying and give her a big hug so she’ll know that I am happy, I really am.

Pirates and treasure hunts are my favorite.
And the Octonauts.
I love to go on bike rides with my Daddy and play frisbee at the park.
I love my friends with my whole heart and I get overwhelmingly excited when they come over to play. Saturday morning pancakes and impromptu afternoon trips to the beach–that’s sure to make me smile.
My baby brother is my best friend.  He loves me no matter what.  Plus, he’s really funny too.
I can count to 29 and I know all my letters and shapes.
Nothing makes me more excited than seeing the look on my Mommy and Daddy’s face when I write my own name.
They’re always cheering for me. And I love that.

I ache for the people I love. I want to be around them ALL the time. My grandparents, my aunties and uncles, my cousins. I like to have all the people I care about in the same room with me—that’s when I’m happiest. Because family is my favorite.  Sometimes I ask my Mommy if we can have a big family like they do on Full House. Maybe one day honey.  Then she laughs and ruffles my hair.

And even though it’s not always easy to be me,
I know that I’m a really really really lucky little boy.
Because I am loved. Boy, am I ever loved. I can feel that love every day.
And this gives me strength.
To be brave.
To take deep breaths.
To try new things.
To let new people in.
To give love back.
Because I have so much love to give.
And so much to teach my my mommy and daddy.
So much to teach the people in my world.
About compassion and patience and perseverance.
And I know that sometimes things need to be tougher for me so that I can learn those important lessons and pass them on to the ones I love.  It’s an important job for a 4.5 year old boy, but I’ve got this. So don’t worry about me too much–just love me please.

Love, Wesley

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock
Ashley Stock

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Comments

  1. Oh Ashley, he’s such a good boy. Every thing that you wrote I could write the same exact things about my boys.

  2. Yep, same here! Mine is 12 now and just finishing 6th grade, and I’m here to tell you: he is not done growing and changing yet… not one of us is done until it’s capital D done. When I look back at where we were 8 years ago, I can’t believe how far my son has come. You’re the perfect mom for Wesley!

  3. Lauren Gross says:

    I love your boy! Thank you for sharing. And just know…you’re not alone, momma! And you’re doing an amazing job.

  4. Oh Ashley. I am smiling with tears running down my face. It makes me so happy to read and feel the love you have for your son. I can FEEL it. You are an incredible person and woman and mother. I know you didn’t write this post for attention or praise, but you deserve it. I have had the joy of reading your blog the last 4+
    Years and I have gone through your archive to make sure I didn’t miss anything ( creepy? Probably, but even then I felt like I knew you. I have very much enjoyed following you on your life journey and look forward to reading so much more because you insipre me and make me thankful for mommas like you. Lots of love sweet lady, love you to pieces!

  5. What an insightful heart you have momma….

  6. Without a doubt, one of my most very favorite posts of yours. What a beautiful soul, Wesley is. Thank you for sharing your way with words. I think of your posts or words often as I raise my little guys.

    You have a gift in those boys AND those boys have a gift in you.

  7. A friend sent me to this post and it made me bawl the whole way through. You described my 4 yr old to a tee. I struggle every day with him and yet he loves with all his heart. Thank you for writing this it gave me hope after a day that started and ended in tantrums.

  8. Awwww, I miss you guys. Thank you for sharing what so many people have such a hard time understanding. xoxo

  9. I have a hyposensitive, non-verbal three year old. Thanks for sharing so openly. I didn’t realize how much it would feel like getting him the therapy he needs is a job. It’s a lot of work, but so worth it.

  10. Nice to meet you Wesley! :)

  11. hi ash,
    i love your blog from the start that i found it over pinterest.
    i love how i can connect thru your blog even though im from the philippines.
    im also a mommy blogger here.
    i enjoy reading your posts esp that i am also a mom to baby boy. who by the way is just a month younger than Sawyer. =)

    cheers to motherhood and our cute lil boys.. =)

  12. Hi Ashley,
    I have followed your blog for a while, and it brings me peace to know there are mothers across the country whose children have sensory issues. Therapists recently diagnosed my little 3.5 year old guy with Sensory Processing Disorder (three months ago), but from the moment I started reading your blog (two years ago!), especially your posts about Wesley, I felt like you were speaking about my little man. We now are proud owners of a ball pit, balance beam, trampoline, fidget toys, etc., but most of all we have a new perspective on our darling little man, who craves family, love, and underwear time. Just as Wesley is perfect Wesley, our little guy is perfectly himself, and I would not trade that for anything. Thanks for being such a great role model to others, and we appreciate your honesty and love.
    Sincerely from Chicago,
    Lauren

    P.S. Brought to tears by this post. Loved it!

  13. Gillian says:

    Hey, I know that kid. Love you, ash.

  14. Kristyn Stirling says:

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again and again, you are an amazing mother. That little boy if yours is so special. You and Ben are so intune to his needs , he is so lucky to have you and you are so lucky to have him. These little boys of ours can be difficult, and people like to tell us how to fix them to solve our problems for us, to show us that they can parent them better than we can but have you ever proved them wrong. No one knows this little boy like you do, no one understands him better than you. You inspire me with your strength, it’s not always perfect, our kids tend to make sure it’s not

  15. Oh Wes, how I pray for you too. This post, Ash, is beautiful. He’s a special little guy, with a huge heart.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    I just loved reading this so much!! So well written and filled with love. I am not a mother yet, but hope to be half as good as you are someday! Your boys have magical smiles and are so full of life.

  17. okay seriously ash? i am in love with post. i love learning all about wesley. he is such a good, sweet and adorable boy. I was just going to text you today about the best way to interact with him and you answered so many here. sending this to dylan! i hope one day he is happy and comfortable and knows how safe he is around us, me, leo is questionable. love your family!!!!

  18. It’s Parents like you and Sweet children like Wesley that will make this crazy world of ours a much better place!

  19. This is so sweet! Was Wesly ever diagnosed with a disorder? Growing up and into my teenage years, I was very similar in behavior, I even had a mild form of tortette syndrome to add to it. We searched for answers, were prescribed medications and nothing helped. With no where else to turn, my mom researched diet and neurological disorders and with our surprise, there’s a TON of information out there linking diet to childhood behavioral issues. Since then, I’ve been following the Weston A Price diet and Paleo diet and every.single.symptom has dissapeared. It is said that the SAD (standard american diet) is to blame for so many diseases and disorders. A few websites I frequent are: Chris Kresser, Dr. Mercola, Marks Daily Apple and Weston A Price.

    • Your son is gorgeous!!!!! WOW!!!! What a doll face!! I wondered the same thing…if you have ever had him to a hollistic chiropractor or a dr of that sort? So many things you describe sound like a gluten or other allergy. Right down to the nightmares – my daughter started to have them more and more often until we finally brought her to get food testing done by my whole body chiropractor – she is gluten intolerant and sensitive to dairy. It wreaks havoc in the gut which in turn causes so many neurological issues. I have had a lot of the same symptoms all the way to starting to show MS symptoms – am on a Paleo diet now and also eating butter and some rice. It is so totally worth looking into. Many of his symptoms may only be allergies. I hope and pray you find your adorable baby boy the help he needs! I would love to hear if you do. May God bless you in finding your answers.

  20. Chelsea says:

    I’m in tears. This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing, “Wesley”!

  21. Elizabeth says:

    This sounds soon much like my 6 year old. Unbelievable! Is there a name for this or is it growing pains! FYI, my oldest had some similar issues, had a sleep test and he had sleep apnea, had his tonsils out and a lot of his anxieties went away. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Your outlook and perspective are really admiring. This was a reminder to me that everyone just wants to be heard, to be understood, to be loved (especially when the road is bumpy).

  23. Beautiful words!

  24. Christine says:

    Nice to learn more about Wesley! What a doll. He sounds like a curious and adventurous little boy.

  25. Meredith says:

    Beautiful. Wesley is lucky to have you as his Mommy. Your family is precious.

  26. What a beautiful post! Even us readers can feel your love for him. He sure is lucky to have a momma like you :)

  27. What a beautiful post! Even us readers can feel your love for him. He sure is lucky to have a momma like you :)

  28. Very well written. Made me tear up.

    Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you make your way through this beautiful, though challenging, journey called life.

  29. This is wonderful, you can tell by your words how wonderful your son is and how much he is loved! Keep up the good work momma!!

  30. This is really well written, despite how sad I imagine it made you feel to put in to words. He is lucky to have you!

  31. Cali Kliewer says:

    Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful. I have only been reading your blog for a little while, and I am so happy to learn more about your sweet boy. He is lucky to have you, and you are so blessed to have him.
    Thank you for being such an amazing momma for such an amazing boy. God knew just who to pick when it came to picking Wesley’s momma!

  32. Perfectly said. You amaze me. As a mom, a wife and a friend. I know there are touuuugh days. But the good ones are that much sweeter. Wes is lucky to have you as his mom and vice versa. Love you friend. xoxo

  33. Melanie Herrmann says:

    Ashley. I don’t know if you ever got the email I sent you a few months ago. There is HOPE for Wesley. Of course you know that. I have give children. Three have had significant neurological challenges. I have studied and prayed and studied and prayed. God will guide you. I know of many options for helping with sensory integration/sensitivity issues. Look up The Brain that Changes Itself by Norman Doidge. I sent you my multi sensory early literacy program that Wesley may really thrive with. Did you ever get it? http://www.allofmeliteracy.com. Let me know if you’d like me to direct you to possible helps/solutions.

  34. Becca L. says:

    What a handsome, brave, AMAZING little boy you have! And what an amazing mother you are! Thanks for giving me something to aspire to, someone to look up to and giving me the strength to try harder every day. Seriously, what a great post.

  35. Auntie Debbie says:

    So proud of the mother you have become and the sweet, wonderful boys you are raising. I love you all soooooooooooo much it sometimes hurts. I am so thankful to have you in my life.

  36. Aw this made me cry! You are such an amazing mama and he sounds like an amazing little boy! LOVE THIS!

  37. Ashley,
    I am probably one of the few people who can say that I know EXACTLY how you feel. I thought you were describing my son, right down to swinging on the swings all recess every recess and pink donuts being his favorite. We have been there with occupational therapists and play therapists and now that Nicholas is in school full time and we have the support of his awesome teachers and guidance counselor, it has gotten a little easier. I love your words so much. They really spoke to mt heart today and served as a great reminder for me to try to see things from his perspective a little more.

  38. Shirley says:

    First I want to say I love you and your beautiful family. How do they detect what Wes has? Have they ever said anything about bi-polar?

    You are wonderful mom and I enjoyed reading Wesley’s story, how beautifully written. I am sure some day he will enjoy reading all of these letters.

    God Bless

  39. This is very beautiful and very well written. Your son sounds like a wonderful kid who is a lot of fun.

  40. That was precious. He is precious. :)

  41. dolores says:

    Ashley………………….you brought me to tears. what a profound lesson for all of us. each of us do indeed have our own gifts……………..if we just take the time to listen and to observe and most of all love………………..dee

  42. Ashley Bond says:

    Thank you so much. I am crying. Today has been a hard day with my son, who just turned five. He has had some issues lately and if I am honest…maybe always has. I have been a little in denial but there has been no denying it lately. I love him with all my heart and want to do what’s best for him. We have just started the road to finding a therapist to see him and maybe get some insight to his anger and anxiety that seems tl be getting worse. I pray every night for God to give me the strength and answers. I just want to see my little man happy again.

  43. Kristen says:

    This brings tears to my eyes….. You’re a great mom, doing a great job…. Your kids love you SO much, it’s always apparent in your pictures :)

  44. Such a sweet post and I am sure Wesley could agree that he has the best mommy and daddy to support him!

  45. Angie Troppy says:

    Ashley,
    I wish I had read this blog 13 years ago when I felt so alone and confused about my own son. Today, at age 17, he is a strong, pure-hearted young man, who has wonderful friends and is an honor roll student, and guest-speaks about what it is like to grow up with Autism/Asperger’s Syndrome, and mentors younger students who face similar challenges. I can’t commend you enough for being honest and loving your son for who he is!! On your journey with him, you will find occupational, speech, and behavioral therapists who are incredible as well as substandard- my advice is to pray and trust your instincts along the way; I am convinced that special kids like ours have a special guardian angel, and that God gave him to you for a reason! If you are ever in the Napa Valley area, please email me- I would love for us to get together :-).

  46. Jennifer Miracle says:

    Great to meet you Wesley! I have a boy just a bit older than you. You two sound very much alike in many ways. First, he would LOVE to speak dinosaur with you. He is very fluent. Second, he also gets a little anxious and speaks in silly voices when meeting new people, and he LOVES meeting new people with Mom & Dad. And he has problems with textures of food and different smells, so he is particular about his food, too. And last, he has a Mommy that loves him so big that it makes her heart so full sometimes it spills down her cheeks. I think your Mommy might be like that, too. I wish we lived closer, because I know you two would be fast friends. I am so glad your Mommy introduced you! I wish you much love & happiness <3

  47. Bzeedik says:

    I couldn’t love this more. Its so awesome that you’ve taken the time to sort through your thoughts and all you know and make it seem so clear!!! You are so smart and inspired and such an awesome mom! I know we already know this, but this post makes it so clear- there couldn’t be a more perfect mom for Wes. The Lord knew just who he needed. I love you! I’m here for you, ill always be your cheerleader and I LOVE Wes too. He is happy :)

  48. Melissa says:

    Loved this and cried all the way through! ( happy tears) because its nice to know we aren’t alone and the way you relate it to words- blows me away!y Rocco’s 3 1/2 -and sounds just exactly like your guy! Thank you for a great post! Can’t wait to read more!

  49. Ashley,
    I have a 12 year old with SPD. We’ve worked through so many of the things that you are facing and I’m here to tell you that Wesley is wonderful! He is going to continue to grow and change and learn compensation techniques for his sensory stuff. AND he is a very lucky little boy because his Mama accepts him as he is, even when it’s hard. He’s lucky to have a mom like you!

  50. This is beautiful and sums up how I want people to feel about my little man too. :) thanks for sharing.

  51. Cara Ziegelbein says:

    You are an amazing mother. There are a lot of young moms out there that don’t take the time to understand their child or give them the love and attention some children need. Some need more than others. God blessed you and your son to have each other, the child that needs you as much as you need him. I have two small boys of my own and understand how difficult it can be. Sometimes stressful and exhausting. You are doing a great job raising two beautiful boys. :)

  52. I have read your blog for several years. This is my first time to comment.

    Just wanted to say–that I am REALLY, REALLY, REALLY glad that God chose you to be Wesley’s Mom. What a perfect match.

    Hugs,
    Edie

  53. Melissa says:

    Oh my does your story bring back memories for me! Your description of Wesley is almost exactly how I could have described my son at the same age. As a toddler, my son was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder along with a significant speech delay. His early years were filled with occupational therapy and speech therapy. My days, during those years were filled with carrying out the therapy programs (brushing, oral stimulation, etc.) at home, listening to him cry every time he was touched or changed or bathed, etc., and loving him beyond anything I could ever have imagined. I remember feeling so scared and uncertain of what would lie ahead for my precious boy.

    As I right this my now 17 year old son is sitting in front of me. It may sound surprising, but those years of therapy are but a distant memory. He is now a junior in high school (how did THAT happen?), an honor student and a travel ice hockey player. He has a girlfriend and a driver’s license and gets grounded from time to time. He has a very empathetic heart and mentors youth with autism for a local special needs hockey team. People are shocked if I tell them about his early struggles. The only remaining sensory issue for him seems to be an intolerance for heights. Even then, his girlfriend recently coaxed him onto a ferris wheel at a local fair!

    I write this not to brag about my son’s progress or accomplishments, but to share with you the hope and belief that your son, too, will grow and develop and change in incredible ways. Although only God knows to what extent, all the therapy he is getting now will help. And special momma, you can trust that your are never alone in this, and that He has a divine plan for your sweet little one!

  54. Kimberly says:

    Ashley I am so proud of you for posting that. I think it is so important to share Wes’s story. Now I know this little guy and I have known him since before he was born. I have a great deal of love for him. He is a remarkable young man and his capabilities are endless. He is so beautiful when he smiles and he makes me laugh so hard at times. Especially when he gives me his little growly face. But I know Wes’s heart and I know he doesn’t mean anything by it. He’s just funny like that. I love this kid so much and I am just so happy that you shared Wesley’s story

    XOXOXOX

  55. Thank you SO, SO, SO much for posting this!! It completely resonated with me, as a lot of the behaviors that you describe of your Wesley, are very similar to my 3 year old, Lawson. I ended up reading this post last night to my husband, who was also moved to tears by your words. These boys of ours are wonderfully amazing little beings that God chose to give to us. Even though there are intense moments of frustration for both my son and myself, he is teaching me so many things daily, and just as his “bad” mood swings can be intense, so are his “good” ones. This boy loves like no other, so much that it amazes me. Again, thank you for being so open and honest!! Love to your beautiful family! :)

  56. Tami Guerrero says:

    You described my little boy to a T. Thank you for such a beautifully written article. :)

  57. Oh my! Tears over here! What an amazing writer you are! To hear this all from a child’s perspective made my heart ache for him and for you AND it also made my heart sing to literally HEAR the love, Grace, patience and understanding you have for him. What a blessed little boy – what a blessed Mama! xx Thank you for sharing! ❤️

  58. Charlotte says:

    This is so beautifully written!!!
    I loved it!!

  59. Hi Ashely,
    I stumbled upon your blog the other day, and I am entranced by your words and snippets of life you share with everyone. I have recently started blogging as a hobby and also as a way of documenting my journey of crafting and building a warm, cozy home. Thank you for inspiring me with your words and being an amazing, ever-so patient mom. I mentioned you in my recent post, and decided to write my own little poem in the same format on my canine “child,” Einstein. Just wanted to share this with you and please feel free to give me any feedback on how I can improve. Thanks so much!!

    http://niftybunnylove.com/2014/07/do-you-really-know-my-little-einstein/

    Give little Wes an extra hug for me! He is a sweetheart. <3

  60. Recently stumbled upon your blog and just read this today It sounds exactly like me when I was a child, actually still today :) Have you ever had Wesley checked for autism? More precise asperger. They have a lot of diffrent helping methods, that might help him in his daily life, but also help you.

    Though I must say you sound like the best possibly Mom little Wes could ever ask for. Much love & strengh to you! ;-D

  61. Your son is so lucky to have you as his mom! My son is almost 10 and we only recently discovered that he has SPD, although he is hyposensitive instead of hyper, like your son. This means a lot of chewing on non food items, standing on his head, and squeezing people really tight. Pretty much doing anything that will give him the sensory response that his body craves. I feel really bad for the lack of patience I had with him at your son’s age, because I just didn’t understand him, but so grateful to Heavenly Father for leading me to the answers we were looking for so that we can finally understand his needs and be a support to him. Keep smiling, and loving both of those special boys of yours!

  62. Tears streaming down…..this sounds a lot like my little dude. Beautifully written. You really have a gift of connecting with people. And your little guy is lucky to have you as his momma!

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