We celebrated Tristan’s birthday. This year we invited all 16 classmates and their families to our home for a campfire. We had 4 classmates and a few other friends come. Not knowing how this would actually work out was an adventure. We talked about it with Tristan a few days before his birthday celebration. We are pretty sure his classmates talked about it with him, too. At 5:45 PM we changed him into his party clothes ( a nice shirt and pants). We could see how excited he was, he had that sparkle in his eye! His friends came in happy to see Tristan. They had only been out of school for a few days. It was sweet to see the kids interact. As guests arrived they handed me the gifts. I tried to put it them away until it was cake time. Tristan knew it was a present for him. It became clear waiting was not going to happen. We adjusted the timing of the night. Presents were opened immediately. The adults kind of looked at each other and laughed. I guess this is how a special need party unfolds, one minute at a time. We proceeded to the backyard. Praying the rain would hold off a few hours. The campfire was going. Hot dogs were roasted. The kids were all playing together at times and independent at times. We gathered everyone to sing “Happy Birthday” , then ate some brownies. Tristan then opened a few more presents that were hidden in a closet. He was so happy! A few hung around the campfire to sing some additional songs.
This was a blessed night! Tristan has come along way in 10 years. We could not do any type of a celebration for him the first few years. He wanted to be left alone. Slowly, we reached the milestone of singing Happy Birthday to him. Then a few years later we had Grandma over for another milestone, one more person added to the group. Then a few years later we had invited a few teachers over. That was really fun. It was nice for his school world to overlap with his home world. Last year he had one classmate over and more family members. I said to the Aunt. There will be no games. It will only last an hour-tops! We will sing, eat cake, and that is it. It worked out great.
Earlier this year, Tristan was invited to his first classmate birthday party. It was at a bowling alley. When we left Tristan was very happy. He is becoming increasingly social. I could see how important it is to continually connect his “world’s” together. It was good for the other friends too. They seemed happy to see their friends from school on a weekend.
Enjoy a priceless memory from our home.