No, it’s not really Charlie Brown’s birthday. At least, I don’t think it is. But our boy’s birthday is coming right up and there is great excitement brewing because of it.
Birthdays can be really fun and truly, they are good for you. It’s a proven fact that the more you have, the longer you live! However, they can also be a stark reminder of the reality of how far behind his peers your special needs child really is. Up to this point, I wasn’t sure Ben really had a grasp on birthdays, other than the idea that presents are part of the package and presents are fun.
I mentioned to him tonight that it will be his birthday very soon and the most interesting thing happened. A conversation. A real conversation, more than a couple of exchanges, actually happened between me and my son. If you’ve followed us any at all in the last three years, you must already know by now: This. Is. Huge.
“Hey, Ben, you’re birthday is coming up. It’s going to be here very soon.”
“Ben, do you know how old you will be on your birthday?”
Rather matter of factly, he answered, “Ten.”
“Seven,” I said. “You will be seven, Ben.”
“Would you like a birthday cake or a big chocolate chip cookie?” I asked.
“Okay, I can bake a cake.”
And then this, “And you can put seven candles on it. And you can sing ‘Happy Birthday, Benton’ and I will blow the candles out on my Charlie Brown birthday cake.”
Nearly speechless, I struggled to speak due to this sudden proclamation of all that would be happening on his birthday, but eeked out, “Yes. Yes, we can do that.”
And without missing a beat, my boy got up from the couch and said, “Well, c’mon, Mommy. Bake-a me a cake!”
His birthday is yet a week away so we did not bake a cake tonight, but we did get started on a fun plan to celebrate this amazing little guy who will soon be turning seven NOT ten. (Mercy, it’s going so fast already!) The rest of the night, I heard echoes of, “Mommeeeeeeeeeee, I’m-a ready for my birthday caaaaaaaaaaaake,” and it truly was one of the sweetest sounds I can imagine.