Sunday, May 6, 2018

Congrats, you made it!

There was one day, way back when I was in college, that I forgot it was my birthday until my Mom called to wish me a happy birthday. While birthdays for me were great while I was growing up, they definitely weren’t a big deal starting at about age 20.

However, it’s a different story for Nate. As years have gone by, Annie and me, especially Annie, have really wanted to make Nate’s birthday feel special to him. For most people, a birthday is a declaration of, “Hey, we’re glad you're on this planet”. That dictates a certain level of celebration. With Nate though, it’s more than just, “Hey, we’re glad you are on this planet”, it’s also, “you did a great job staying alive this year, congrats!”

This turns his birthday from just a celebration of participation, into a celebration of accomplishment. Very different things and Nate gets very excited about it.

This post is a few weeks late but what're a few weeks between friends. So here are 8 pictures of Nate through the years. P.S. There are more than 8 because I couldn't narrow it down to just 8. In fact, you're lucky it's not 50 pictures. 

One day old Nate. This was the last time Nate slept more than 3 hours at a time.

During one of Nate's first check ups after he was born, he laid on the table in the clinic room and was a ball of energy. He wiggled and squirmed and the doctor put her hands on his head and called Nate perfect and then noting how active he was, commented that he would probably be a great athlete one day.

1 year old: He'd already had one surgery and we were under the impression that we had health issues under control. 

We did not.

2 years old: You think you're cool because you can walk? Well can you draw with both hands! Nate was about 2 years old here.

3 years old: Nate could still sit up fairly well on his own. He got that plush George for his second Christmas and still sleeps with it every night. I think he's too old for it but Annie disagrees. Nate likes it because he uses it to hide his face in case monsters show up.  That's only happened once so I don't know why he's so worried about it. 

Age 4: Nate has really discovered the act of being a mischief maker and fully embraces it. We allow it because I mean, how much mischief can he really get up to. 

Turns out, when you have just enough strength to knock things off of tables, and dial/text people on other people's phones, it's a lot. You can still get up to a lot of mischief.  We had some deprogramming to do.

Age 5: Nate spent his 5th birthday in the hospital with the pulmonary bogeyman, RSV.  It was a rough time but he got through and even had all his presents delivered to him at the hospital. Made for a much better stay than usual. 

The good news is, it's been over two years since Nate has had to be in the hospital as a result of illness. 

Nate graduating from pre-school. Nate got a Thomas the Train toy for graduating. He clutched it all the way home from the store. He had a lot of fun in pre-school and even tried his first brownie there. It was less fun for Annie who also had to attend pre-school. Something she hadn't done for a couple of decades and found she wasn't equipped to handle as well as Nate. 

Though she did enjoy the mid-afternoon snacks.

Age 6: At age 6 Nate's love for babies was at its height.  You can see for yourself in the above picture as he stares adoringly at one of his baby cousins. I could track Nate's growth just by compiling all the pictures he insists I take of him every Sunday with whichever baby cousin he can get his hands on. 

Age 7. What can I say, as much as I miss the sweet little 3 year-old Nate, I love older Nate as well. He talks to us about his life, shares funny stories, expresses his discouragement and makes funny jokes. He's a great friend.

I don't remeber this picture being taken but by the look on his face I can gaurantee he is either planning something mischevious or talking about something mischevious he had done.

We entered the wand store at Harry Potter world and somehow ended up walking out with one. Their sales people are extremely effective. We regretted it about 5 seconds after the purchase and sold it on ebay. 

Finally 8 years old. It seems like a big age and I can't believe how fast it's gone. He has changed in so many ways but I can still look back at old videos, even as early as a few months old and still see the exact same personality shining through.

He isn't an athlete like the doctor proclaimed but that same wiggly, active and curious kid is still there. Besides, who knows how athletic he'll be in 10 years when he gets to strap into an exoframe every morning.