28 years ago, I gave birth to a baby boy who had a head full of "stickin' up hair" and a big, happy smile. It was a life-changing, life-altering experience for Jim and I.
Today we celebrated 28 years of Joshua. It's been such a ride. We had about 20 years of struggle and push and pull and tug and never-ending meetings and forms and therapy...and now we are having what I call the "years of blessing." I feel like it's the calm before the storm. Not that I'm expecting a storm, I just think that there's a lot of hard times ahead with Joshua and his care as he ages. I am thankful to God for these precious years of joy.
I got up this morning and realized I didn't have a blueberry muffin mix in the house. In my defense, we just got back from a trip to the beach last night. I should've planned ahead and gotten one before we left, but I didn't...so I fixed the next best thing: cinnamon rolls. From a can. Joshua calls them "Sunday Rolls" because we have them every Sunday morning before church without fail, rain or shine.
Joshua came downstairs and I had two cinnamon rolls on his plate with a candle on top of one...and Jim and I sang the "Happy Birthday" song to him. He grinned real big and said in his best Fred voice, "uhh...it's not SUNDAY...hee hee hee."
Jim took Joshua to the gym mid-morning, and we ate lunch here when they got home. Holly came over and took him out for a birthday Cherry 7-Up from Sonic. :) And then Clark and Faith came in and brought him presents...and he was thrilled.
Later, we all headed down to meet Jim's parents for dinner. They live 1 1/2 hours away, so we typically meet at a restaurant that's about half-way for both of us. They love to meet for birthday dinners. My in-laws came in their car. Our son-in-law, Aaron, came from work in his car. Logan and Morgan came in his car because they had been out looking at tuxes for the wedding...and then the rest of us...6 of us...came in the Suburban.
There were 11 of us around the table. When our group got there, my in-laws were already seated, along with Aaron, Logan and Morgan. It's no secret that Joshua LOVES Morgan.
So, typically, Joshua is going to sit right beside my mother-in-law and tell her all of his stories that (through no fault of his own) make Jim and I look like totally incompetent parents...and Holly, Logan and Clark like uncaring, insensitive siblings. I don't think Joshua means anything by it, but my mother-in-law is overly-sensitive when it comes to Joshua, so she asks questions and bases her opinions on his responses.
There's your first mistake.
Never trust a Fred.
It's like our family's motto.
He means well...he really does, but he misses a lot and he doesn't hear well...and so while what he tells may be true from his perspective...it's not always true. It's not even usually true. Not 100% anyway. Ever.
Never trust a Fred.
Anyway, we walk in the restaurant, and they are already seated. I think everyone thought that Joshua would snag the seat closest to my mother-in-law as usual...but I had already quickly surveyed the situation.
I've written about this before. It's a gift.
I saw that Jim's parents were on one side and there were 5 empty seats beside them. Then, on the other side there was Aaron, and a seat next to him for Holly...and then Logan and Morgan.
And I knew exactly what was fixin' to happen.
Joshua headed toward Morgan like a bee to honey and she never saw him coming. She was turned towards the other end of the table, talking, and I tried to yell, "INCOMING" but she didn't hear me, and before she knew it, Joshua had wrapped her in a big bear hug...from behind...while she was still in her seat.
The whole meal, Joshua just gazed at Morgan and smiled...and hung on her every word. It's so cute and Morgan is a good sport about it.
At some point, he notices that she's cold...and before anyone could do anything, he had placed his leather jacket around her shoulders to keep her warm.
And he grinned from ear to ear.
Logan was trying to be all sly about it and get a picture of the two of them without Joshua knowing. The picture shows Morgan looking at the camera smiling, and Joshua looking at MORGAN smiling. I posted this on my Facebook page.
We told the waitress it was Joshua's birthday and she brought him a huuuuuuge brownie with ice-cream on it. He doesn't like ice-cream at all, and he was already full...but he did eat one bite of the brownie because he was the Birthday Boy. My mother-in-law kept after him to eat more of the brownie, and he couldn't make her understand that we didn't tell him he COULDN'T have any of the brownie, it's just that HE.WAS.FULL.
I finally had the kids cut a chunk of the brownie to put in the to-go box so that he could have it tomorrow.
Such a great day. I hope Joshua enjoyed it, and I think he did. His favorite thing of all today was reading all of the Facebook messages everyone sent him.
He also posted a status thanking everyone for the birthday messages they sent to him. And he specifically tagged me, Holly, Logan, Morgan, Clark and Faith. He did not, however, tag Jim in his kind words. A long time ago, Jim told Joshua not to tag him in anything without asking him first...because he caught Joshua taking pictures of old pictures at Jim's parent's house, and Jim said there WAS NO TELLING what could possibly end up on Facebook. And, since we have grown accustomed to, ya know, eating...and being able to do things like pay our bills...Jim did not want anything to be posted that would not be appropriate for his status as a business person in town. You know, naked baby pictures and the like.
So, Joshua said, "I tagged everyone in my status, but I did not tag Dad because he said don't EVER tag him in anything...hee, hee, hee."
We cannot thank everyone enough for the prayers lifted up on our behalf during these 28 years. It is a joy to be this young man's mom, and a blessing to walk through life at his pace.
I'll close with this: after thanking God for everyone who wished him a Happy Birthday, Joshua ended his prayer with this: "...and thank you, God, for Mom...for conceiving me all those years ago...and for doing all that hard work to get me out."
"Let your roots grown down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness." Colossians 2:7