Monday, February 22, 2010

So Proud

Today, George turned 7 years old! He woke up, I said, "Happy birthday!" and he replied, "Hooray!"

It was a great day! We started with our usual morning routine and the whole time George was talking a mile a minute speculating about what his "first day" presents were going to be...he was sure he would get a gun (both brothers got one for their birthdays) or some cars or some "light shoes". When it was time to pile into the car, George was giggling and laughing; he just couldn't wait to get to school. I had 24 cupcakes, decorated and ready to go along with some festive napkins. He has 15 kids in his class and I gave him strict instructions to not bring any cupcakes home. We planned out all the teachers and aids who would also celebrate today in George's birthday; the principal, his Title 1 teachers, his ESL teachers and many others who have touched George's life at school. They all were given a cupcake and a smile.

After school, our neighbor surprised us with a visit. He came over to play wii and a few rounds of hide-n-go-seek. There was a lot of laughter and delight as the kids simply enjoyed a fun afternoon. Homework was done at the table, while I prepared dinner (something spicy, especially for George) and we waited for Daddy to get home.

Dad finally walked in the door and George ran to him saying, "Today is my first day!", as if Joe didn't know. George filled Joe's ear with story after story about giving the cupcakes away, being told happy birthday by other kids walking through the hallway, and how Steven spent the afternoon playing at our house.

George knew the order: dinner, cake, presents. So, by the time I finished serving the family dinner and sat down to pray, George had eaten 1/2 his plate! He gulped down the rest in about 30 seconds and announced, "Time for cake!"

We got the cake out, lit the candles and turned out the lights and we all sang happy birthday to Georgie! His smile was huge - practically ear to ear! At this point I began to think, this child has never been sung to this way...a whole family celebrating HIS life.

Presents and cards were next and I have to giggle! One came celebrating his 8th birthday (he is 7) . He didn't care - he loved each and every one (especially the giant 8 card!). He first opened the gift from my mom and dad - three, yes three, rescue vehicles that make a lot of noise! Sirens and lights and horns...just what he loves! But, he saw the other wrapped presents and knew he wanted to open more. Next came a Leapster game (Wall-E), a flying V guitar shirt with a guitar shaped walkman - he was just getting more and more excited with each gift. Then the big one...this was the moment we had all been waiting for...the big gift was coming.

He tore open a bit of paper and saw the shoe box. He gasped. He squealed. We encouraged him to continue unwrapping the present and he did. When he was able to open the box, he yelled "hooray!" and clapped his hands was "light shoes"!!! The whole family cheered. Everyone. We were all genuinely happy for this amazing boy getting such a prized gift like light-up shoes. Before I could even tell him what to do, the shoes were on his feet and he was just laughing with pure delight. Even better than regular "light shoes", these looked like police cars and the lights were the headlights, so George can clearly see the lights. We ran into his bedroom and purposefully did not turn on the lights - oh my! Those shoes looked so cool.

George was so happy. He let his brothers take turns with his Wall-E game and then let his sister listen to the radio for a bit. He didn't care as long as he had those shoes on. The cake was delicious. The gifts were just right. And the love was palpable in our home.

This is the first "first day" we have had with our son! This is his first "first day" celebration where the family all celebrated his life! I know George says "first day" and we think it is so cute, but today really was his "first day".

At the end of the night, when everyone was settling down in their rooms, George walked out and spotted me on the couch. He pointed to me, smiled and said, "Momma. I am so proud of you tonight. I am so proud of you for loving me."

I know he didn't really mean to say "I am proud of you" for proud isn't quite the word he was looking for. But....what he said meant the world to me tonight.


V said...

tears in my eyes...what a beautiful memory you will have forever

milreb said...

Happy First Day George. What a good, sweet day. :)

Brooke said...

Oh Traci, I LOVE this post!!! I am just so happy for George, and for all of you! What a special celebration you were able to have together as a family!!