Andrew never did have any big birthday parties. A few friends over maybe, but mostly it was spent with Martin and I. The 3 of us would do something special together that Andrew loved doing. Every year he said it was the best birthday EVER!
One birthday that sticks out in my mind is his 10th birthday. We had just started homeschooling him 5 months earlier, so there was no class room celebration. He was into bowing big time. He was quite the sportsman, still is. He bowled once and joined a league and they wondered how long he had been bowling he was so good. I informed them this was only his 2nd time! He went on to win patches and catch the attention of the bowling shop owner who use to be a pro bowler. By that time Andrew was tired of bowling. He bowled himself out.
Ok, I’m getting ahead of myself. On his 10th birthday we took him to his absolute favorite place to eat, Long Horn Steak House, where his sister works. That alone was the best present ever to him! He loved Long Horns. After that we took him out and got him a bowling bag and other bowling accessories and then went bowling. He just reminded me there now, that we also set up a bowling lesson for him too. (he’s shooting for author credits! LOL ) We spent the whole day together. I was feeling a bit bad that there was no party but right as I’m thinking this he says,”This is the best birthday ever Mommy and Daddy!” I asked “Really? You don’t miss having a party?” He replied, “NO! I’d rather spend my birthday with you and Daddy doing what we are doing! It’s the best birthday EVER!” He always knew how to make you feel special.
It wasn’t with just us either. He did that for anyone who was in his presence. He made all his friend’s parent’s feel appreciated when they cooked him a meal. He let them know how good it was. He always looked for the good in people and focused on that. Yes, sometimes it was a stretch for him but he always made the attempt!
Even his last birthday here, his 16th, he said he didn’t care about a big fancy party. He just wanted to be home with his friends playing video games. He was also excited about being old enough to apply for a job at his favorite place, a video game store. I had asked him if he wanted to apply at any of the places his friends were applying at. He said “NO! I only want to work at EB Games and I’m not going to settle!” So that is exactly what he did and you know what?? “It was the best birthday EVER!”
He was like that with Christmas too. Every year he would get up at 4a.m., sit in the recliner, rock and “become one” with the presents under the tree. Then he’d come in at 6a.m. to get us up because he couldn’t take it anymore. UnlikeÂ Elatia who we would sometimes have to wake her up Christmas morning when she was little! But Andrew? Oh heck no! He’d stand over me starting at 6a.m. ever so politely begging me to get up. He did that up until his last Christmas here at 15yo.
When he was younger he would try and go to bed at 4:00 in the afternoon Christmas Eve!! Yea, I told him NO! Absolutely NOT! I made him stay awake until at least 9p.m.
No matter if he did not get all that he had asked for, it was always “the best Christmas EVER!”
I pointed out to him on his last Christmas here with us physically, that he said that every year. He informed me, “Mommy, I mean it every year!” and he really did!
At the age of 10 he asked me, “Mommy, do you know what the best gift I ever got was?” I said, as I was trying to think what it could possibly be, “No, Sweetie Pie, what was the best gift you ever got?” He said with such firmness, “My life!”
Yea, let that one sink in! What 10 year old says the best gift he ever got was his life?! None I know. What kid even thinks about things like that? Especially at 10! I was just blown away by his answer and the depth for which he thought. He genuinely loved his life so much and loved being here. I was really starting to see we did not have an ordinary child on our hands by any stretch of the imagination!
We believe he loved every minute of his life because on some level he knew he wouldn’t be here long and he wanted to make the most of it. And make the most of it he did!