Isaac's birthday is fast approaching,...
He'll be four years old and have another cake to add to his gallery.
Here is Isaac at one year old,...Happy Healthy Baby,...no worries,...he was already walking and babbling a bit,...well,... making eye contact wasn't his favorite,...nor playing patty cake...
A tiny cake all to his little self,...
Check out the face,...sensory overload with that icky icing,...only we didn't know it,...we just thought it was 'norm' after all some babies don't like icing,...and obviously Isaac was among them.
Year TWO,....WhooWhoo,...only Daddy had to go out of town on a business trip,...but that only meant we got to celebrate twice,...this cake was THE birthday cake,...on Isaac's birthday. Our family tradition, ever since my older guys were little has been birthday cake for breakfast!!!! And this year was no different,....
Check out that face,...yep,...we already knew something was going on with our little guy,...he tolerated NOTHING softy or squishy,...and he couldn't just be the strong-silent type,...a doctor's appointment had already been made....
Not to be overtly sad here,...but it's part of our family history,...so I have to note that my father unexpected died,...only hours after midnight of Isaac's second birthday,...my poor husband got the call no one wants to get when they are out of town,...and then he had to call me in the middle of the night,...giving the news no husband wants to give to his wife,...over the telephone,...but three things redeemed the horror,...one, if my father had to pass away,...at least his heart gave out in the arms of the woman he loved, my stepmother,...and two and lesser but still important, that Daddy didn't leave this earth on Isaac's actual birthday,...and for myself the most important is the last words I spoke with my father the last time I talked to him, actually inviting him to Isaac's birthday party, but he was too ill with pneumonia to attend, and I knew that, but I wanted him to know he was needed and wanted to help celebrate,...anyway that last exchange was:
"I love you Daddy," and he replied, "I love you, Baby."
Can't ask for any more than that!
Sorry for the digression,..now back to happier stuff,...
Last year,...I remembered how much fun Isaac had had redecorating his cake,...not that he ate the cake,...but a birthday cake doesn't have to be eaten to be special,...it can be a ooey and gooey sensory experience,...or a very serious test of dexterity to see if you can rearrange the candles WITHOUT getting any icing on your hands,.....and at three years old,...Isaac proved to be a master.
An icky cold for your birthday is never fun,...and Isaac actually slept his entire birthday,...but that evening he woke and was willing to give redecorating a shot to our delight,...as a lethargic Isaac is such an unaccustomed sight,...it is alarming,...for he is our super-sonic guy.
Three years old,...and Isaac was a couple weeks away from his diagnostic testing for Autism,...we knew about the Apraxia only weeks after his second birthday,...but as Isaac's Autism is A-typical which means it's only that much more bewildering,..so he was merely red-flagged until we could get a appointment, and that was a miracle worked by our Early Intervention coordinator, because when I first called for the appointment I was put on a five month waiting list,...the coordinator made a couple of calls and we were able to get into see the doctor in only three months,...which is practically over night because I have heard of parents on waiting lists for YEARS to get a diagnosis,...at least two years and for one popular clinic the waiting list is typically over a year,...and the doctor we got an appointment with has such a full case-load,...our first interview, she asked in a bemused voice more than once, "And how did ever you get into see me?"
So three birthday cakes:
First: tiny and perfect,...no fears.
Second: foreshadow of what was bewildering us,...Why wasn't our little guy talking? Why was he unglued over lotion? Why was he such a picky eater,...no soft, no sweet, no sticky or gooey?
Third: By Isaac's third birthday he had already 'aged-out' of Early Intervention,...and we had a good idea what all the diagnosis testing was going to reveal. But let's end happy,...because I like to think
of Isaac's three year old birthday cake a perfect analogy of how life with an autistic child can be perceived.
Perfect Cake and Reality Cake.
But please note, the Perfect Cake is pretty boring and bland,...really,.. let's be honest,...it's a perfectly typical, but it's also a yawn...while the Reality Cake is literally oozing with personality and creativity,...it has a nice, comfortable lived in feel,...and you can almost hear the giggles it created while the redecorating process was in process. Honestly,...doesn't it look like the birthday boy had fun?
A birthday cake can be perfect, but life is not,...things happen,...children like our Isaac have to face tough challenges like Apraxia and Autism,...people we love pass on,...and we mourn and grieve and then go on with our lives blessed to have been touched by their lives. Life is not so simple, as sugar frosting,...and that's OK,...it's reality and reality can be unexpected and wonderful,...it's all perspective,...do you see a destroyed cake or a personalized creation?
If I am being real and realistic than I have to be honest,...birthdays and autism are tough. Isaac's fourth birthday is soon,...a banner is already up and presents purchased and we are talking to Isaac about his special day where he'll have cake to redecorate,...balloons and presents,...but Isaac doesn't seem to be aware that 'birthdays' are special,...and that's heartbreaking for this Mama,...but we mourn, we grieve and then go on with our lives blessed in the knowledge that Isaac's birthday is STILL a birthday,...he experiences the world is a different way, and makes sure you do too,...and that's includes birthdays,...and it's OK that I have no idea what is going to take place on Isaac's birthday,...for I do know Isaac will make sure that it's unexpected and wonderful,...and for this tale of three cakes,...that's a happy ending!
Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!