Last Sunday we had a birthday party for Jack. We invited 2 families over - two of the boys were in Jack's preschool class last year - and we had a great time. We had a bbq and the kids played outside and Jack opened presents and we had cake. Last years' birthday party was kind of a disaster...mostly because of the number of people we had over. Jack was completely overwhelmed and melted down. So we knew that this year we had to keep it a little simpler.
Jack's actual birthday was today, the 28th. He woke up at 5:30 am and bounded into our room saying "it's my birthday!" We quickly came to the conclusion that Jack was a little confused about his birthday. And we are still confused as to what his expectations were. He was upset right away that we weren't "doing" his birthday and he couldn't "eat his birthday." My best guess is that he was talking about having cake, presents, and party all over again - even though we had explained multiple times that he was having a party on Sunday and then we were just hanging out on Wednesday - when he would turn 5. We still did special things - we went to the store and let him pick out toys using his birthday money, we went and got ice cream, and we had cupcakes after dinner. But today was one of the more stressful days with Jack. He was so upset about his "birthday" all day - and we just kept missing the communication piece.
He had therapy this morning and had a pretty difficult time doing very simple tasks. We also found out that Jack's occupational therapist is leaving. This is heart-breaking for me. We absolutely love his therapist and she was one of the reasons we were looking forward to staying in Minnesota. He doesn't know yet that she's leaving. I think he'll have a very hard time dealing with this transition.
He had friends come over for a play date...so that was a good break in the day. Then when Lonnie was done with work, we went to Target to let Jack pick out toys with his birthday money. He had a good time picking out toys, but also had difficulty deciding which toys to get (who wouldn't?!?). We then went to the ice cream place...where Jack wouldn't eat any of his ice cream. He likes this particular ice cream place because it's near the rail road tracks and we can see a train every once in awhile. But now he has become so focused on the RR tracks that he refuses to eat his ice cream. All he can do is stare at the tracks (or at the cars going by on the street).
We knew that the rest of the evening had to be spent at home - he was done for the day! So we just spent time at home and let him play with his new toys. Had mac & cheese for dinner and watched Bee Movie. Jack and I were planning on going to the running track with Lonnie, where he was going to start training 5 people for their first 5k. But, Jack was so tired and worn out from the day that we decided to stay home so he could go to bed early.
Today was one of the days when I was reminded that my child is different. He is DIFFERENT. We can't do things with him that other parents do with their kids. Our lives are structured around his temperament, sensitivities and abilities. I am constantly under pressure to have the next 24 hours planned out in advance.
What a bittersweet day. It seems that most holidays are starting to bear this "bittersweet" feeling. We are blessed with an amazing son that we love very much. But we are most reminded on these holidays that things are different for us.
Either way - my baby is FIVE! He has accomplished so much in the past 5 years. We are so proud of who he is and who he is becoming. The past 5 years have gone by so quickly...I can't imagine what the next 5 years hold.