Birthdays, Aspergers and Life Lessons OH MY!

Awwww Birthdays. A time for self-reflection, celebration and appreciation. A day reserved to celebrate LIFE and the act of living that life.

As a society we really do put a lot of weight on these occasions. It has become all about the expensive gift, and big party. Although I never turn down an excuse to eat cake, it is sad how many of us have really forgotten the true purposes of birthdays.

Okay I admit… I too forget many times. I love throwing extravagant parties and planning themes and figuring out all sorts of DIY projects to go along with it. If you follow me on Facebook you might remember the hamburger cupcakes I made that I put in the cute car food containers and my Gracie girl dressed up as a PINK LADY for  her 50′s GREASE theme sleepover birthday party just a week ago. So perhaps me writing this may seem a bit hypocritical… but stick with me here a moment if you will. Consider it MY BIRTHDAY PRESENT! (LOL)

Yesterday as you all may know… I reminded you all enough (LOL) was MY 43 birthday. I don’t mind saying the number because I am pretty proud of it actually. I wear all my years on my face as proud reminders of all of life’s experiences and lessons. Both good ones and bad ones. I used to not think like this. I used to think that MY BIRTHDAY meant that I needed to be spoiled and pampered and treated like a queen. I used to think that the bigger the gift the more it meant I was loved. But the past few years that has changed. The past few years ASPERGERS and my sweet boy has forced me to rethink a lot of things.

Yesterday was not a good day as far as birthdays go if you measure it by my old standards. My iphone broke and we had to spend $100 to fix the stupid thing. The printer stopped working and we ended up having to buy a new one because it cost less to do that then to fix it. Our bank was hacked into and my husband’s credit card was one that was used causing us a 4 hour headache (not to mention a bit of embarrassment at Office Depot as we found this all out when we went to pay for the above mentioned printer). We spent 3 hours at Jay’s school trying to change a few classes around in his schedule and get his new KEY lock instead of the combination one. And because of all the delays the one thing that the kids truly wanted to do with me, our real family outing of going bowling together… well it never happened causing major disappointment! BUT…

Here is the thing… throughout it all, My hubby and BOTH my kids were with me all day. Not just physically… but WITH ME! Okay for those who don’t have a child on the spectrum, perhaps I need to explain this. You see not long ago, if it was not about him, well jay would just tune out. It is not that he is spoiled or anything, it is just difficult to connect socially especially if it is not something that interest him. But my boy has grown so much in the past few yes. Was he still interested in anything that was happening yesterday… HELL NO! Was he overwhelmed, over stimulated and frustrated and disappointed… HELL YES! But he held himself together. he stayed engaged and used his words to express when he was mad or getting anxious. And I sat back and watched him do it and well… IT WAS THE BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT I COULD EVER GET!

You see I was given something yesterday that you cannot wrap up in a pretty box or even make a theme cupcake to go along with it. I WAS GIVEN HOPE! Hope that my boy is going to be okay in middle school and beyond. Hope that we can do this. Hope that even when I feel like life is tossing lemons at me from all directions… I can slice and dice those babies like a Food Network All Star Chef Champion and squeeze them into something tasty and perhaps even sweet eventually!

I was also given a beautiful hand made present by Grace, a yummy homemade breakfast, decorated cake, was taken out to dinner and received lots of hugs… which certainly helped make the gift of HOPE even better! We also plan to go back to Office Depot to buy me a new desk chair because every good writer needs a perfect place to plop their BUTT down into! (But after the whole bank thing, I think we will wait to go back there.Lets just say MAMA may have made a bit of a scene. MAY HAVE?) I was also told that a very special gift is still on the way. Will let you know what that is all about when it comes.

So yes MAMA had a MEMORABLE birthday. It was filled with lots of life lessons. I tell my kids all the time, “We can’t control what happens… but we can control HOW WE CHOOSE TO REACT to those things.” Mr. Hacker at the bank, Silly little iphone, schedule maker at the school… I did not CHOOSE TO LET YOU RUIN MY BIRTHDAY! In fact because of all you… it was even better. Because you made me see things that I may not have seen without you. SO thank you for giving me the best gifts of all!

I would also like to say thank you to all the wonderful people who took the time to wish me happy birthday on Facebook yesterday! You all made me feel very blessed and loved!

 

Sharon

About Sharon

Sharon Fuentes is an award winning humor columnist, parenting guru, public speaker, special needs advocate, co-author of The Don't Freak Out Guide to Parenting Kids with Asperger's and connoisseur of exclamation marks! To book Sharon for a speaking engagement, or just say hello... email her at Sharon@sharonfuentes.com

3 thoughts on “Birthdays, Aspergers and Life Lessons OH MY!

  1. Emma

    Laughing and sobbing at the same time – beautifully written, Mrs. F. xx

  2. Valerie

    I’m smiling. I knew you got the material you needed yesterday. What a great day. It is a birthday you will remember.

  3. I so get it. I think having a child with Asperger’s makes us as moms more thankful for small things that others take for granted (not on purpose, but because these small things come easily.) Just going to a restaurant at one time was a nightmare (as many small things were), but each time we go now, my husband and I treasure all of us there, sitting and talking.. being.

    I love your spunk, grace and gratitude for all you have. And, your kids are so lucky to have you as their mom.

    Happy Bday!

    Lisa

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