When you have 6 kids you are so over giving themed birthday parties by the 4th child. And when you have been planning birthday parties for 34 years you are so over doing any parties at all. Fortunately my therapy group, the bowling moms, have come up with a perfect solution. Once a month we celebrate birthdays at our favorite restuarant…Frisch’s. If your kid has a birthday you provide cake, candles and plates. January we celebrated 4 birthdays and had a ball.
Prior to the party I put cash, young adults and teens prefer cash, and pictures of Jake and Sam in a birthday card for each recipient. My 3 signed the cards and I thought we were good to go. Sam was not happy that we didn’t have an actual gift and went through the house collecting what he wanted to give each person. He managed to come up with quite a variety of things but I had to insist that he not give his brother’s things away. I got with the program and found some items from my secret stash to add to the pile. I handed him some gift bags and he chose what to put into each bag and who would get it. Sam was excited and thinking outside the box.Alex is reading his card while Sam hides behind his menu and our other son Jake is checking out what Alex is doing. Notice the goody bag that Sam made. The party was the beginning of January and I thought we could get away with snowflakes even if they were green and red.
I love this picture of Jake because he is anticipating what is coming next with glee. The cake, birthday song and many other desserts will be passed around very soon. But where is Sam? He has moved from his chair to the head of the table where the birthday cake is being readied. Sam gets right in the center of the festivities.
Sam has changed seats so he can lead the singing.Sam has changed his seat so he can start the clapping for the birthday group.And, Sam has filled his cheeks with air to help blow out a cake that isn’t his and that he can’t even eat because he has Celiac disease.
That’s why I want to be like my son with Down syndrome. I want to have that same exuberance that he is filled with as he runs through the house joyfully finding gifts for others. I want to have that exuberance that he has as he moves closer to the action. Give me a double portion of that exuberance, just like Sam, as he leads singing, clapping and blowing out the candles on a cake he won’t be eating. Sam is teaching me to forget what others might think and just get out there and enjoy the PARTY! Thanks Sam.