Today is August’s 20th birthday. It is a day filled with so many emotions. I don’t want him to be spending his birthday locked up. But part of me thinks maybe spending a birthday in prison will be the wake up call he needs. Maybe he’ll make the decision that he wants to change and he’ll start focusing on school. Then I remember this isn’t how he’s going to heal. This isn’t how he learns. His damaged brain won’t repair by spending a birthday behind bars.
Every birthday since he became my son and even more so since he was diagnosed with RAD I have wished that I had been there at the moment of his birth. That I had given birth to him. He couldn’t be my son any more if I had but just that little difference; just those few extra years in his life could have spared him so much pain.
His first birthday with us we made such a big deal. He was a huge Scooby Doo fan and my sister and I stayed up so late making a handmade cake which looked wonderful but was so hard to make. We had about 10 little boys at our house in Oregon and thank goodness the weather was nice because I don’t know what we would have done if it was raining which it should have been!
Over the years his birthdays have been different with a variety of themes and kids. Sometimes big crowds, sometimes just a couple of friends. He’s always been really happy on his birthday, even when he was little and couldn’t remember what day it was! Mostly it’s because he likes getting presents. Can’t deny him that!
I sent him an email this morning. We aren’t allowed to send cards and presents. And because I charged him with stealing my car at the moment I can’t even visit him. Another “parent of the year” jewel in my crown. So an email and money on his account to spend on candy. That’s how I spend his birthday.
The reality is I am happy he’s even having this birthday. There have been so many times over the last few years when I didn’t think he’d live this long. His dangerous behavior and scary choices had me constantly expecting the sheriff to come to the door to inform me that he had been killed. So that there even is a birthday is a victory.
He has no cake and no candles to make a wish over and blow out. So I make wishes for him. Probably things he’ll never wish for himself.
- I wish he finds the smile he had when he was little
- I wish he learns the value of education
- I wish he comes to realize how incredible and valuable he is
- I wish he decides to face his demons and heal from his trauma
- I wish he learns to build relationships built on trust and respect not manipulation
- I wish he stays safe
- I wish he has many more happy, healthy birthdays
Happy birthday my sweet, sweet boy. Mommy loves you so much.