And just like that your 16. 

Dear Son,

And just like that your 16. You are no longer a child but nearly a man.

And as much as I celebrate the ever more amazing you, I want to wrap you up in super-duper extra strength bubble wrap and keep you safe and sound as you navigate the next few years.  In light of the obvious practical issues with doing this, I offer this prayer instead.

May you always remember to silence your phone before you drive. My heart couldn’t take a last text from you about what you want to eat for dinner. And furthermore, may other cars steer clear of you on stormy nights, in winter storms, in summer downpours, and on sunny days. May every road you travel bring you safely back to us in one piece.

May you make good decisions every time.  But when you make the bad ones, may you be given a moment of grace so that the consequences aren’t life-altering, heart-breaking, or soul-crushing. May you appreciate this moment then for what it was: a gift and a chance to grow. May you understand why we will feel the need to take away privileges to help you learn this lesson.



I struggled with this Birthday the most but at the same time incredibly proud of the young man you are becoming.

I am so blessed to have such a charismatic, kind-hearted and you have such a loving soul. I love that you like to make others smile, your thoughtful with your choice of words, open to keep learning life lessons (most of the time) and when you set your mind to something, you follow through.

cropped-1.jpgYour leadership reflects at home, at school and on the field.  You are approachable, cautious and respectful so people gravitate to you naturally.

But most of all, you are an incredible son. You ask questions, you are involved and you set goals.

Your brother is such a lucky one too.Your bond could never be broken. You have learned to pave your own way and learn how to love him even when it’s not in the traditional ways. The connection is strong and the two of you have always had an unspoken love for each other.

Happy Birthday Cameron Charles.  I love you with my whole heart. Always, trust your gut. Make good decisions, keep paying it forward and never hesitate to call regardless what time it is. My phone is always on.

Enjoy this video.

Love, Mom

2012-08-17 14.57.59


Published by mamalamaneustupa

Bio My name is Shelley Neustupa. I am a mother of two cool boys and a wife of 22 years to my high school sweetheart. My oldest son attends the University of Oklahoma. Boomer! My youngest is in 2nd grade and was diagnosed with Autism and Mixed Receptive Expressive Disorder at age 2. Since his diagnosis, I promised him I would advocate and educate as hard as he works each day in therapy. I began writing and have been able to touch many parents that may be new to this journey providing them with actual experiences (not candy coated), support and resources through my entries. Writing is my therapy and my hope one day that my nonverbal son will be able to take these diaries and speak about his own journey and how autism relates to his own experiences. Who knows he and his older brother may become National Speaker’s one day? Come along on our journey to better understand our lives through the eyes of a boy with autism, his Skilled Companion dog Jude, his big brother (and best friend) and mom and dad. My raw vulnerability captures the everyday moments of our journey and will bring even more awareness. A week does not go by where we do not learn something new about ourselves and I want to share these chapters with you. My Sons Undeniable Strengths… Extremely smart and figures out things quickly. Has a memory that allows him to remember more things than I could ever hope for. Persuasive by his personality and sheepish looks. Overabundance of stamina and strength. Loves the outdoors. Enjoys life and always has fun with an unforgettable smile. You can find us here: Writer: Autism Through His Eyes Facebook Instagram YouTube Pinterest Canine Companions for Independence News Interview Cody and Skilled Companion Jude - Our Story

3 thoughts on “And just like that your 16. 

  1. What a heartfelt & well-written letter. Words I would write to my own 16 year old if only he could read & write. Both Cameron & Cody are blessed to have you as their mom.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: