Today is my son's 10th birthday.
I remember, years ago, when we were in the beginning stages of therapies, and diagnoses, and IEP's, wondering what it would be like when Sebastian turned 10. I honestly couldn't fathom it. I didn't dare think of it, for fear that it would be too painful.
And here we are. 10 years old.
And it's pretty great. :)
Sure there is weirdness and trouble and worry. But for the most part, 85-90% of my time with him and thinking about him is good. I focus on that.
Today was the first time that Sebastian was actually excited and interested in his birthday. We started the morning with questions about whether or not Santa would be bringing presents for him today. I told him no, Santa brings presents at Christmas, today he would get presents from Mom and Dad.
At breakfast, he planned his day.
"First school, then Brick by Brick. Then nothing. Then home. Then presents?" The last was a bit of a question for me, asking for confirmation on something that might be too good to be true. I nodded, thrilled that he was looking forward to something.
We planned pizza for dinner, and after dropping Sawyer at nursery school, we ran to Walmart and picked up his favorite drink (Strawberry-banana smoothie) and some frozen pizzas. We got a couple of last minute gifts for him, and headed home.
I have been trying to simplify our lives, and slow down the rampant consumerism that used to run through our house. Sebastian is EXTREMELY difficult to buy gifts for. He has very specific interests, and usually can't be interested in things outside of that. The usual "boy" gifts, like lego, cars, trains, even colouring books, hold little to no interest for him. For years, I have tried to bribe, tempt and even force him into playing with these toys. It's not worth it. So, this year, I have forced myself to be realistic about what he would like. We got him some books about Phineas and Ferb. We got him a new copy of the Muppet Movie, because his old one is scratched and doesn't play well. It's one of his favorites. We didn't get a cake, because he doesn't like cake. The icing is too sweet, and goopy for him. He had swedish berries.
It was really hard to not force my own agenda on what I thought he might like, or should like. It is hard not to buy, just for the sake of buying, so that he would have lots to open on hs birthday.
It was hard, but not impossible. I did it.
When we came home, I decorated the house. I have a bag of birthday decorations, and I pulled it out. I always decorate for the kids' birthdays, even if it's just us. There is the flag out front, the door banner, the Birthday Boy/Girl banner for the front window. I have the Happy birthday to hang from the fireplace, and the happy birthday booble head bull dog. There are happy birthday tableclothes, and candles and napkins. I like to make a big deal, without making it TOO big of a deal. I like it to be an occasion. I like it to be their day. Soon enough, it becomes a not-a-big-deal, so it's nice to be little and have a day all to yourself. I like to make that happen. And they get so excited to see the balloons and streamers and banners, and realize that it is for them. Sawyer still talks about "her party".
We headed out to pick up Sawyer and bring her to my mom's. Geoff and I had an opporunity to observe one of Sebastian's therapy sessions today, so Sawyer was spending time with my parents while we did that. She was happy to visit. We went to get Sebastian from school and head to therapy. His class gave him a gift for his birthday and he was surprised and happy to get it. He asked again about presents tonight.
At BbB, he headed in for his therapy, and after a few minutes, Geoff and I headed over to watch through the 1 way glass. It was great. He is very relaxed there and does all of the crazy things he does at home. I was amazed at how good his eye contact with his therapist was, he actually talked with her. She was very good and was getting about 30 minutes of attention from him, before he needed a break. They would do about 3 different activities in that 30 minutes. He did so well, I was incredibly proud of him.
It broke me when he used scissors. Yep, scissors. I yelled at Sawyer the other day for trying to cut up papers in the bathroom sink, but the vision of Sebastian cutting a straight line with scissors all by himself literally brought me to tears. In a good way.
We stayed for about an hour. I could have stayed longer, but I didn't want the poor therapist being nervous about having us hanging around. We went, grabbed some lunch and then came back and picked him up. The director and the therapists got him a gift too. They said he was so excited and appreciative, it was so fun to see. And it was just over Dora stickers. He promised to share with Sawyer, even when I told him he didn't have to.
We picked up Sawyer and Grammie and Papa gave him a present early (they are coming over tomorrow for cake and presents). He got the Phineas and Ferb movie, the one that he was asking Santa for. He was so excited. Sawyer got Strawberry Shortcake, and thought that was pretty damn cool too.
We came home, and Sebastian finally got his presents. Sawyer was right into it too, bringing them over to him, helping him unwrap them, oohing and aahing over each and every one. Then Sawyer wanted to sing, so we sang Happy Birthday. There were hugs and kisses and smiles and love all the way around. We ate pizza in bed and watched his new movie.
It was one of the best 10th birthdays I could have ever imagined. Love you, Halloween boy. Lots and lots and forever and ever.
Rosie N. Grey
The N stands for "new decade of Sebastian adventures".