Oh five. Five years ago, this little bull chose us. We teared up when we related his birth- days events last night over a mile high apple pie. His eyes twinkled when we all expressed our special love for him. He smiled and smiled and smiled.
Being sandwiched in the middle is a blessing and curse, this has become abundantly clear. Rowan has the personality of a comedian and is as compassionate as a monk. But, his fear of being the center of attention, of even being addressed by someone he isn’t terribly familiar with, allows no one to know these special things about him. We try to mitigate his frustration at it all, but like most things in life, time and practice are about all that will truly heal. Us grown ups, usually just tend to get in the way.
This year, we knew we would try to do things a little differently. We really wanted his party to be whole heartedly centered around him. We wanted to make it short and sweet, with just five of us little friends (one friend per year… good advice from a great book The Birthday Book), and very little pressure on us. We didn’t have to clean, we didn’t have much to prepare. Just good solid chunks of time to spend with this boy in all the ways he loves. We baked together, we decorated together, we sat on the couch and showered him with the love he deserves. Then came the party, two focused hours of fun for eight little boys with success so grand Lee and I high-fived around every corner.
On his actual birthday we went out for waffles upon his request, we fished, we played with his new dollhouse, and of course, we did lots of drawing- his most common request of all. The day was topped off with vanilla ice cream on apple pie after a supper of tacos. I promise you, this boy gives us a run for our money. And yesterday, when we tucked him in and he was still smiling, we were smitten.
So often we have thrown birthday parties that were chock full of our friends and their kids, with so much pressure to clean and provide a good meal for all, we lost track of what we were actually celebrating. This sweet boy wasn’t forgotten in the mix, and we are so grateful for his teaching us this lesson.