Sir Caleb’s birthday bash!
Before I could write this birthday post, I had to write yesterday’s post so that the full awesomeness of the birthday could be understood. I don’t want to forget this part of the journey. It was Caleb’s third birthday, at a train museum with a bunch of kids, that I began to realize that I really didn’t understand what was going on in his little brain. The noise, all the people, the attention, the pressure….everything completely overwhelmed him. He didn’t have any fun, it was so sad. I won’t post the pictures I have that prove it. From that point, with a lot of help and support, we began to figure out how to do things so that he could enjoy them. His next two birthdays were small, simple family events.
This past year he’s taken leaps and bounds and as soon as we started the birthday party brainstorming (this was the first party we let him invite just who he wanted to and actually plan with us!) – I really felt like he could handle a big, boisterous party.
Handle it he did. Enjoy it he did. Experience it by the minute in sheer delight he did.
And we watched in wonder. Only those who’ve known him for years could fully understand the changes and appreciate what a monumental, life victory kind of day this was for our sweet six year old.
We made a last minute change of plans due to weather and met up at an elementary school so we could eat lunch at my parents house. The phone call the night before went something like this:
Me: “Mom, I was just calling to see if you think we should move the party since it’s raining and cold?”
Mom (not stopping to think): “Might be a good idea. You could have it here, we could use the woods at the school and then eat at our house.”
Me: “Um, Mom, don’t you remember there are 18 children between the ages of 2 and 8 coming?” And don’t you remember that you just remodeled your kitchen and that you have cream colored carpets?
Mom (cheerful and certain): “Sure, it’s no problem, it will be just fine.”
Sort of in disbelief but very grateful at the offer, I said yes. I almost called back and said we’d have it here. But the reality of 32 people in our little rambler was enough to keep me from it.
First the kids decorated little burlap satchels that our kids had sewn for them. They would hold their (chocolate) gold coins from the forest hunt.
Then everyone lined up to get instruction for the Sherwood forest adventure. Chris had hidden dozens of gold coins in the forest and we also hid a bunch of canned food. I explained that Robin Hood always wanted to help the poor and that in the spirit of Robin Hood, we would hunt for food then donate it all to the food bank after the party. I also told any that might not know that when Robin needed help from the members of his band he would blow three horns on his bugle. So everyone got handed a bugle (my friends may not forgive me for the OBNOXIOUS noise they make!) and they were off.
After the mad frenzy search for coins and food, we all took turns shooting with Caleb’s new bow and arrows that he graciously shared with everyone. Check out that handsome archer!
After everyone had had a hand at the bow and their fill of gold in their purse, we headed for Nana and Papa’s. The kids pulled the red wagon full of food and walked the few blocks home in a darling parade. Then there was food and feasting!
We shared many sweet glances throughout the day, that said more than words could have. All the hard work, late nights sewing, etc was worth it. Way beyond the party work, I think we both felt like life in general was worth it. And for all that life has been these last couple months, we really needed a day like that. All of us.
For a few more fun photos, especially of my nephew Isaac at the party, check out my sisters’ blog!