I had Drake when I was 21 years old, my first child and I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. He was born 3 weeks early after an emergency C-section because he was breech. Obviously that fact he was entering the world upside down was not going to faze him, he was ready to go!
Drake was bright and alert from the time he was born and very curious about the world around him. He walked at 15 months, was speaking by 2 and could count to at least 20 and knew his alphabet by 2 and a half. Drake preferred his educational toys to play with and would line his cars up in long lines around the room. He preferred to play by himself and loved M&M's. He got upset when he had to disrupt what he was doing and we learned to give him verbal warnings when we had to do something else.
Drake was a generally happy child with many smiles and hugs for Grandmas. He chattered constantly and made up stories and complex games for his siblings to play. Drake had a speech impediment and Mom and Dad could understand him just fine, but nobody else could. Drake attended speech services through the school district though 9th grade. Drake has lateral lisp which is hard to correct completely and if you listen closely you can hear it, but it's not really noticeable.
Drake developed some interesting "ticks" and they ranged from lip biting, to finger flicking (enough to develop callouses), to face wiping (he would have large red swaths across his face), to pacing, and hand shaking (which he still does to this day).
Drake would have meltdowns frequently and would dissolve into a screaming/crying/kicking puddle and I remember holding him down and tight in a ball until he could calm down. He enjoyed school, but didn't really have any friends preferring teachers and adults as company instead. He talked about nonsensical and made up things mostly and rarely answered questions directly. He never complained about shoes that were too small or having an earache and not feeling well.
He hated bright sun and loud noises. He didn't like daycare very much
mostly because it was loud a lot.
Enter a world of IEP's and administrator meetings and so many phone calls and teacher's conferences. Drake was placed with a great and understanding teacher for 5th grade and thrived. I worried so much when he entered Intermediate school, so many different classes to go to each day and his organizational skills not being the best, I was sure it was going to be a disaster. Except, it wasn't. The school had a great program for keeping the kids organized and he enjoyed only needing to sit in one place for so long before he could do something else. He lost his violin, but after giving his teacher a call and a heads up, we found it. He learned to walk himself almost a mile home and let himself in after school. He took music classes and cooking classes and even a shop class. Drake amazed me even with his limited fine motor skills and enjoyed it all.
Drake can read music and type fairly quickly and accurately. Drake loves to read non-fiction and classics too. Drake still loves Lego's to this day. Drake grew almost a foot from 7th grade to 10th. He also matured. I could ask him questions and get actual answers. He preferred his hair to be long and I obliged. He wanted to wear certain clothes and shoes and was happy in his own skin.
Drake today loves to hike and read web comics and listen to dub-step and video game music. Drake walks himself home a mile from school everyday and walks himself to the store to by donuts sometimes too. Drake wears exactly what he wants, even if it is a crazy cat shirt, plaid shorts, and mismatched socks (actually, that's kind of everyday). He has earned himself the title of "the kid with the socks" because of his love for crazy socks. Drake still prefers to stay home and doesn't hang out with anyone, but talks to kids at school all time (according to his sister). Drake has been taking classes concurrently through the community college since last year and has taken a total of 7 so far with plans to continue this fall.
Drake is 18 today. I somehow managed to raise an adult not knowing what I was doing, but very much in love with this little boy I was given. Drake, you make your Mommy so very proud and I wouldn't want you any other way. Your love for life, even when it's kind of hard and easy comfort in your own skin, make me look up to you. I don't know what I ever did right, but I am so very glad you are mine. Drake, Drake you are the great. My great. My boy, Drake.