What am I going to do about your birthday party? I have always said that any birthday you have deserves a huge celebration. I know our years with you may be limited—which I realize is dumb because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. But I am more acutely aware of it with you. So I want to go all out every year. But for the “Big Oh-2” as Daddy calls it, I have not done anything. All of my resources—time, money, creativity—are low. Part of me thinks we should just do a small family party. You won’t know the difference either way, so what’s the point? And then I think, the point is for me! And everyone who loves you! I was thrilled with the way your first birthday turned out, and the memories from that afternoon are so sweet. I think you deserve to be showered with attention and love one day a year. Plus, what if something happens this year and this birthday is your last? I will regret that out of your two birthdays, we only celebrated half.
I have a vision that I have fully fleshed out in my head, but have yet to put into action. I want to have an annual fundraiser for your birthday, in a carnival setting. We would build awareness for SLOS and have a blast at the same time. We would have moonwalks, games, petting zoos, small rides, cotton candy, popcorn, shaved ice, maybe a silent auction or raffle. Instead of gifts, people could donate money. Originally I thought all proceeds would go to the SLOS foundation, and maybe they still will. But then I thought how cool would it be to bless one special needs family—SLO or not—with a huge gift to help pay for medical bills, supplies, nurses, meds, renovations to make their home handicap accessible, whatever! We are so fortunate for our Medicaid. Without it we just could not make ends meet. A long time ago I did the math, and without any surgeries, procedures, or hospital stays, you cost at least $5,000 monthly. Not everyone knows about MDCP, and not all states are as generous as Texas. In fact, most other states give way less help or none at all. I have no idea how those families do it. I know God provides for them as he does for us, but I would love to be his hands and feet in this way.
Right now you wouldn’t think much of it, but my prayer is that one day you will be walking and talking, and when you are, your birthday bash will be waiting for you. And if we never got to that point, this annual celebration would be a wonderful way to honor you by helping others.
I think fear is what has kept me from pursuing this vision. I can see it in my mind, and it is huge and successful and fun. I am confident eventually we will get there, but it will take me a long time to build up the sponsors and donations to achieve my dream. I know that the reality won’t match my imagination for years to come. And it is the meantime I am afraid of. My party throwing confidence is minimal, and even though it may not be all I hope it will become, I still want everyone to have a good time while making money for a good cause. In fact, I had originally wanted to do this for your first birthday, but ran out of time. My plan was to start early in 2010 for your second birthday in June. But here we are. June. I procrastinate. And hem and haw. And wrestle over what I should do just two days before your birthday.
Maybe for the “Big Oh-3”.