Thursday, October 10, 2013

Birthday Blues

Last year, towards the end of the school year, Adi brought home an invitation to an actual birthday party. And it wasn’t even from a kid in his class -- it was from an actual friend in the other class in his grade. It was so exciting! We bought a present, he went to the party, he had a great time, and I decided that this year, Adi would finally, FINALLY, have a birthday party with kids his own age.

I thought about it over the summer, and a few weeks ago at the back-to-school night, I told the other parents in the class that Adi’s birthday is in October, and that they should expect to get an invitation to his party. I told them I was planning bowling -- there are lanes by the school -- with pizza and cake, and that I hoped everyone in the class would attend. I also told them I hoped the rest of the kids would also have birthday parties, and everyone got a little excited about the idea, because we have all spent the last 10 years NOT having regular birthday parties for our kids, because they don’t have friends.

But I really felt like Adi FINALLY has friends, kids his own age who like him and play with him and are happy to see him.

And then three days later, we were in the emergency room and people were offering us tea.

So, fast forward to Adi’s Hebrew birthday. I had already realized, shortly after this nightmare began, that my plans for Adi’s birthday party were not going to work what with him having leukemia and all. And I chose to focus on this particular loss a lot.

Earlier this week, Adi’s madrichim from Bnei Akiva called and asked if they could make him a party tonight at home, and I was so overwhelmed with gratitude that I forgot to be sad about what we were missing.

But then we checked in to the hospital again and Adi wasn’t doing so well, and we had to stay longer than we thought. No problem, I thought -- we’ll just have the party here. The madrichim were game. Unfortunately, Adi wasn’t. He was -- he is -- exhausted. At around 3, after repeated texts and calls from these amazing, amazing teens, I told them that we’ll have to do it a different day, because Adi just can’t stay awake.

There are about a dozen or so National Service girls who work on the oncology ward, and when they heard that it was Adi’s brithday, they jumped into action. They got balloons and made signs, and drew a picture of cake (Adi can’t actually HAVE cake right now), and came and sang -- and Adi slept through it. At one point he opened his eyes and slurred, “Where’s my gift?” and bless their hearts, these girls ran down to the store and got him an amazing remote-controlled crane. He sat up in bed and played with it for about 10 minutes, and then he was out again.

This is not the birthday I had planned, and it is perhaps a stupid thing to be sad about, but it is so, so unfair.


Anonymous said...

It is not a stupid thing to be sad about. You are right to want to celebrate the simchas, and it is okay to be sad when you cannot. You are such a good mom for recognizing that Adi's birthday party was imporant even (or especially) in his current condition, and for trying so hard to make it work. I hope that Adi gets well soon so that you and he can celebrate many other simchas. Love, Steve.

Lisa said...

It's incredibly unfair. You have every right to be sad about it. I'm happy he got to have a party in the end, even if it wasn't what it should have been.