Today is Cubby’s 2nd Birthday.
We can have small conversations, he and I. Something I never take for granted. Something I was never sure would happen, even before we saw signs of autism in Pudding. A couple of weeks ago, it was a balmy 70F and we were at the park, having such a conversation. I told him that we were having a birthday party soon for him, like we’d had for Daddy. He remembered birthday cake. He told me he wanted a train cake. I told him I’d do it. He told me he wanted the bouncy castle. Why not? Balloons. No problem. He told me he wanted pretzels, taquitos, guacamole, fruit and candy. I agreed. Your day, your way, little dude.
Then he kept talking about his party, day in, day out. He’d have two candles on his cake. His friends S, A & K would be there. He never wavered in his selections. He had the vision for his party, I just had to deliver it. He was just so excited. The kid who spend too much time in waiting rooms. Whose needs are sometimes crowded out by his sister’s demands. The one who has to go with the flow, because the flow almost always has to go whichever direction Pudding determines. I was going to make it happen.
Of course, he got a cold last week, and of course, he passed it on to me. But I was still determined to make the party happen just the way he wanted. Thankfully his grandparents came to help out. Then, and this is where I began to shake my fist at the sky, it snowed! Not much, but enough to thwart outdoor activities. But I had promised my boy that bouncy castle, so we brought it inside. I’d promised my boy all those foods, and I found or made egg, milk, and wheat free versions of them all. He had the best birthday of his short life. All his friends came, and were thrilled to bounce, and feast on Cubby’s favourite things. He got the most amazing presents from our very generous friends. Our house is now stuffed with cars, trucks, trains and superhero toys. He didn’t want the party to end. He fought going to sleep for as long as he possibly could, trying not to let the day end.
Through all of this, his sister did wonderfully. There was a slight confusion about who gets to open presents, but she managed to back off before it got ugly. With being ill, I hadn’t had chance to make her a social story, which makes the fact that she held it together so well even more impressive. For once all the attention was on him, and she did nothing to interfere with that. I’m calling that her gift to him. It was the day of his dreams, he deserves no less.
The very strange thing, is that this was all supposed to be very different. When I was pregnant with Cubby, his ultrasounds revealed abnormalities. We prepared ourselves that he would be our special needs child, little knowing that we already had one in Pudding. Two years ago in Luxembourg, our little guy came into our world. We expected the worst, and hoped for the best, something that I don’t seem to have stopped doing ever since. Yesterday was another one of those days tipped towards hope. Thinking about the rush of love I felt when I finally held my little fighter, I can’t help but expect there will be many more just like it.
Happy Birthday, my sweet boy, you exceed my expectations every day.