Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Birthday love overflows

You know that expression "warms the heart"? This Saturday I experienced that phenomenon firsthand. My heart was overflowing with affection and appreciation. It was like a nice brandy going down slowly, and I'm still feeling that glow.

Soren's birthday celebration was Saturday, and he loved it. I mean really loved it. He was giddy the whole afternoon. And I know that the reason he was happy was that his very favorite people were there (immediate family) and they all made a point to really connect with him on his preferred level. You should have seen the tickle fests and tree climbing and cuddling and book-reading. You should have seen that boy giggle and practically purr with delight.

I was worried that he'd be overwhelmed, weepy, asking to play on the iPad, or staying inside by himself. Instead, he was making gestures to engage with adults; he hovered around cousins riding trikes and playing on the slip-and-slide, definitely interested in the action. Of course we made some concessions for our guy: we let him go at the appetizers without monitoring (it's his birthday!), and I'm sure he ate a whole bag of chips. We gave him a little alone time to watch a movie inside. And we skipped presents and cake (too much production) in favor of a round of "Happy Birthday" and ice cream cones. Soren was in his glory. And I'm pretty sure his pure joy rubbed off on everyone there.

I can't tell you what this meant to me. For one, knowing that we can find ways to really reach Soren and help him feel our love is so very hopeful for me. And two, I just love that others love my child. It's as simple as that, and I know that sentiment is not limited only to special-needs kids. Everything feels right with the world when others can see the beauty that is our children, a beauty that we parents--all parents--sometimes worry is seen only by us.

So to our family, I say: You made Soren's day. It was flawless. And you are still warming this mama's heart.

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