I have tried not to get personal on this blog, unless I think it applies to the people of this town. I don’t like to make a big deal out of birthdays; it’s not because I am older and don’t want to be reminded how old I am. I have always been like that. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a vein of cynicism that runs through me, when someone receives something, especially when that person is me; I feel that I am already selfish and deserve little that one day a year. I am not a huge fan of Christmas; If it was not for my children, I would most likely not celebrate birthdays, Christmas or any holiday. Seems dark and depressing, I know, but I feel you should not pick one day to celebrate or appreciate the focus of the annual occasion (Christ, the person who has the birthday, the Easter Bunny, etc. )…that should be an around the clock thing. I appreciate what gifts are and what they mean.I have not actively passed that attitude on to my children (they LOVE the presents and the attention); we just have never made a huge deal out of birthdays.
My son’s tenth birthday was yesterday. Since we have three kids and their birthdays all fall within the school year, we have a system: If your birthday falls on a weekend, you can choose to have a party or to take treats to school; if your birthday falls on a weekday, you can send treats to school on your birthday.
My wife and I were worried that either because of the cold or any other reason we could think of, that no one would come. We understand that you can’t be everyone’s friend (kids and adults alike), but you never want to see your child be left out, even if they don’t realize it. I’m not pity fishing here, but it can be difficult having a son who doesn’t get why he shouldn’t hit or be rude or call people names. Watching my parents play ball with the kids at the party, I learned that it’s not about who comes and who doesn’t come, it’s about the kids. My son could have given a crap if one or twenty people came (well, aside from his grandparents and another who shall remain nameless…don’t want to mortify anyone!). Autistic children can seem self-centered and single minded; it takes awhile for them to learn that their outside yelling voice is frightening in the library, or that yelling out of the blue because your pen doesn’t work can be somewhat frightening for those in the vicinity. All of this, I realize and understand is a bit off putting and is not necessarily something other people are prepared to deal with (there are day’s I’m not prepared to deal with it); that’s why we usually accompany him to his outings and parties.
I am not disparaging those who could not come…It was cold! But, It was fun. My mom and dad seemed to have about as much fun as the kids…they played baseball! We will be eating pizza and spaghetti for a few days, and I have enough pop to last for awhile (my wife ordered enough to feed an army!) and we made new friends. There are people who like and appreciate my son for who he is, with all his bells and whistles. For that I am thankful.