I really believe life is precious; worth celebrating. Whether big or small, young or old, neuro-typical or not, life is worth celebrating. So are milestones. You know, like birthdays and anniversaries and major accomplishments.
But, on the eve of a very significant milestone, I find myself ill-prepared, not ready to celebrate. My son turns one today. One year ago right now, I was in the hospital, working very diligently to bring this boy into the world. He didn't arrive for another twenty hours, but who is counting (besides me)?
It has been a very difficult year. Instead of being amazed at how quickly the last year has gone, we have made very slow progress; each month marked not by celebration and milestones, but by survival and sickness.
Admittedly, baby J isn't as sick as some. But I am physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted by his needs. The energy and effort required to mount a celebration is simply not there. And that makes me sad.
Baby J will not pass this milestone uncelebrated, however. His big sisters worked on a cake, and his grandma is coming to visit in the afternoon. We won't make his favorite dinner (a long-honored family tradition), because he can't tell us what he wants. But he will eat cake and blow out candles to the tune of "Happy Birthday."
And I will have a choice; to focus on celebrating my sons first year, or on the fact that I am too tired to throw him a party. Honestly, I feel like a terrible mom for not doing a better job with birthdays in general. Instead of letting I ruin my day, however, I am going to make the most of what I've got. My son is a gift. His life is a precious treasure. And though the last year has been incredibly challenging, his is a life worth celebrating.