The next day, the battle I was in continued. There I was again asking someone to stand up for my son. Asking someone to do what is right. Asking for compassion. I was having to battle for these things. Believe me, I do not want to constantly be in a battle. Thankfully, I’m not. I choose them for the most part and sometimes the battle chooses me. This particular battle chose me. I won’t go into the details of this one. But, I will say, compassion won. Thank God.
Later Thursday, I was spent and preparing for a special rehearsal with our contemporary worship band and our traditional Bell choir- Bel Canto. That night we had an amazing rehearsal preparing beautiful arrangements of contemporary worship music. I loved every second and it was very therapeutic for me after the day I had. By Friday I checked back in with my blog post from Wednesday. I was overwhelmed by the responses. I’ve received so many encouraging comments, emails, texts and messages and Moustapha and I just want to say “thank you” to each and every one of you.
Being honest is an important step in life. For us, we’re honest about this because we’re in this together and we need the love and support of others to make it work. And, we’re not ashamed. All of us have ‘stuff’ we deal with. Some of it privately, and some of it can be more public if it helps others. We feel like this is one of those areas where, if we’re honest about our experience, it may help others who are just beginning to question whether or not their child is on the spectrum.
I will share more stories about how Bakri was diagnosed, how we came to accept it and how amazing he is doing now in the near future. But, for today we want to simply say THANK YOU!
Our oldest son is turning eight tomorrow. He wanted to celebrate with his entire class. I don’t know about you, but birthday parties can get really expensive. And, with at least four parties a year for our children’s birthdays (one each!) that can get pricey really fast. Birthdays are important. My family always made our birthdays special growing up and my husband and I both feel it’s really important for our children to have this special day each year. Does it have to break the bank? No.
Let’s look at options.
- We have tons of kid friendly birthday themed places to choose from in our city- Houston. But, again, price is an issue. Most places charge per child and inviting an entire class full of kids is a lot. We also like to include siblings, mainly because our kids have so many siblings and it’s always nice (but not necessary) when they are included too.
- How about a party at home? They are fun and the kids always really have a great time. I opted “no” on this option this time, because it is a lot of work for me personally and I kind of have a lot already on my plate at the moment.
- So, we thought about the park down the street from our house and our son’s school. We could have a party right after school on a Friday afternoon. We went for this option.
Here are the details:
Invite all of the class via evite.com or other web service
Our class list is posted for our class only on our own website run by our classroom mom
I just retrieved the emails from there and pasted them into the evite
Party time: immediately after school on a Friday for 1.5 hours
Serve Pizza (kid choices and parent options) – I ordered locally and asked that it be delivered to the park 15 minutes after the party start time
Pick up cupcakes (we purchased ours from Sam’s Club 30 total -15 vanilla and 15 chocolate)
What to bring:
- paper towels (in case it is windy, napkins will fly)
- one cooler filled with ice, water bottles & juice bags/boxes
- birthday candle
- pizza cutter to make the pieces smaller if necessary
- trash bags (I had these, but they weren’t necessary)
Our oldest son, Bakri had an assignment to do a family culture project for his second grade Fall project. He wrote a song about our family. He sang the lyrics. I jotted them down quickly. We made our way to the piano and he continued to sing. He wrote several verses and a really cute chorus. I worked on recording the music and then Bakri sang his part. We recorded it with garageband. Once Bakri’s lead vocals were recorded, the kids and I recorded our parts. Once the song was done, we recorded video for the music video. I am very proud of my Bakri and his brothers and sisters. What a fun project!
When I began painting the first of what would eventually be three paintings, I had no idea that I would be painting variations of the same painting more than once. The first painting was for our first son, Bakri, when he turned one. We planned a baseball themed birthday party. I made him a cake shaped like a baseball and decorated like a baseball and I painted a baseball jersey on canvas for his wall in his room. I used the painting as part of the decoration for the party and I made a cake that matched the jersey. That was all for the first birthday of the first child. Little did I know, God would bless us with 2 more little boys with first birthdays! So, this week, I began the fun job of painting Leeland’s first birthday painting to go with the paintings for Bakri and Maddux. Here’s how it went:
My friends who are raising their children in the same school system we grew up in are getting to experience this as a parent. Their children are graduating from kindergarten. It is a big accomplishment. A lot of changes take place that first year of elementary school. I, for one, am not getting the same child this Summer that started school last Fall. He’s matured and grown so much.
So, why are we not celebrating this accomplishment with a graduation ceremony? Our school graduates students when they complete fifth grade. I think that is fine. But, in my opinion, we’re missing an important milestone by not graduating them from kindergarten. We, instead, are celebrating with all of the kindergarten classes in the neighborhood park with a playday in the sun. It will be fun. But, will it be as memorable and special as a kindergarten graduation would be? I suppose we’ll find out. I’m up for the challenge of trying to make the end of the year and all that he’s accomplished be a big deal to him so that he is motivated to accomplish so much more with his future.
Happy graduation party day, kindergarten class of 2011! We are proud of you and we wish you a bright sunny future!
Bakri, playing Ode to Joy for his first piano recital, age six.
|With Leeland and Momma and Daddy at Leeland’s Baptism|
|Bakri, loving his baby brother, Leeland|
Time. Isn’t it the craziest thing? Sometimes it seems to move so slowly, when we’re waiting for a big event. But, most of the time, it flies by so quickly that it’s gone before we know it. It’s hard for me to believe that my little baby Bakri, will be six years old tomorrow. Six years!? That’s amazing. In six more years he’ll be 12! That’s seems so far away! But, I know, if history repeats itself, the next six years will fly by even faster than the last six. And, before I know it, my baby boy will be in high school. Happy birthday to our big six year old boy, Bakri. May we celebrate in ways that stay with you always and remind you constantly of how much you are enjoyed and loved.