To My Dear Duckling, J1
On Sunday 6 November 2011 at 3.02am, you turned 8 years old. When you awoke (very early) on your very special day I told you the story of your birth for the millionth time and we started one very amazing and most perfect birthday-day for you.
We started by secretly eating Maryland chocolate chip cookies in bed while daddy slept and we watched Peppa Pig (the birthday episodes). Nanny looked after J2 so that you could have Mummy and Daddy's undivided attention, something you love, but these days rarely get, such is the hardship of having siblings (but believe me seeing how loving J2 is with you already I think he is going to be a good brother to you in the years to come).
Next came a McDonald's breakfast, again something you love, but that is rarely bestowed (mostly due to the fact that it is unlikely we can get up and out in time before the 10.30am cut off and of course that we are aiming to be perfect parents that only feed you healthy breakfasts, ahem, well try our best...) After your choice of a bacon roll and orange juice it was time to get to the good stuff - presents.
With Nanny, Grandad and your baby brother arriving with an abundance of annual dreadful singing and many kisses, we announced present opening with some trepidation. You see, J1, present and card opening in the past (along with the singing of Happy Birthday) has usually been met with a melt down. I have never understood why, all we could do was try and smile our way through and say 'But it is all good darling, just take your time, little by little' and the session would be quite a painful and sad experience.
But this year, this year made my heart swell to bursting point when you swiped the present out of my hand and with only minimal assistance ripped the paper off, admittedly you were somewhat more interested in eating the paper than what was in it, but once you had finished, you said something I had waited 8 birthdays and Christmases to hear; 'Can I have another one now please?'
YES! Of course, here you go son!
And you opened heartily and smiled when we told you what the cards said and kept announcing you were 8. It was a precious moment to me, en-captured in my heart and memory forever. I did not need to get hot and flustered because I worried you were going to get so distressed it made you sick. You enjoyed the experience like any 8 year old would. And that to me was a miracle happening right before my eyes. For those that don't believe in them, they should have been there in my shoes watching that day.
Choosing what activity to do to celebrate your birthday J1 is always a little tricky. An 8 year old may ask for a party with a class of friends at a play scheme, they may run around on the climbing frames and slides, or have a party with a magician or a bouncy castle, but that would give you little pleasure or us, watching you watch. So we have tried mostly home, family parties in years gone by which have been lovely, but this year we were going to take you away for the weekend, however because of Daddy's operation we had to re-think that this year.
Instead we found an amazing resource centre, hidden just a 20 minute drive from home. Just 20 minutes away and we only discovered it 6 months ago. How glad we are that we did. Willow Park Resource Centre is a fabulous place that has activities that you can enjoy and we can be blessed with having the perfect facilities to help you enjoy. Willow Park has sensory rooms, numerous different ones, with HOISTS.
It's like a dream come true. So we indulged, we booked a Sensory Room (The Ocean Room) for an hour just for you and what a great time we all had.
As we left you said 'That was nice that was' and tears sprung to all of our eyes.
Our final stop of the day was to refuel at your ultimate favourite Pizza Hut before making our way home for the most lavish (and hotly requested) birthday cake. In years past, the candle blowing would have been fodder for a further meltdown, but again, this year no such drama, infact we had to do it all three times! And how happy that made us.
You were tired and exhausted by the end of the day, a day full of happiness and joy for all of us. This has been the best birthday ever so far and now we are all really looking forward to Christmas as now we have two little boys that are going to really love the excitement of it.
So, to my 8 year old miracle, sunshine and cheeky Monkey.
I love you always.