Six years ago yesterday

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Can you remember anything better from childhood than the joy of waking up on your sixth birthday?  There is NO DOUBT in a newly hatched six year old that he is the most important boy in the universe.  Waking up that day, knowing all the special events that await, is extra-sweet.

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Plus Nana and Papa are here, so all the birthday rituals that I’d not be able to pull off can happen anyway. 

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Speaking of rituals, you know Danny goes to school-school kindergarten.  Even in a regular school, birthdays are awesome.  You get to be the line leader, you get to read first, and your mom (or in this case your grandparents) get to bring cupcakes for after lunch.

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But in a Montessori Primary classroom, there is a ritual that’s much more significant than all of those.  There are Montessori work materials that help children learn the months of the year.  The one they use for this ritual is an absolutely beautiful puzzle with each month’s piece extending out from the center like rays.  The birthday child puts this work on a mat on the floor and puts a candle in the middle.  Then he carries a small globe around in a circle around the puzzle.  Just as the earth makes one trip around the sun each year, the child makes one lap, holding the globe, around the months for each year of his life.  He takes a break at his birthday month during each lap for the parents (or grandparents 🙂 ) to show pictures of him from his first year, then second… ot to tell stories about him at each age.

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And if that wasn’t enough birthday celebration, we had a cake with candles in the afternoon.  Actually, it might be more appropriate to say that we had frosting with candles… there was a teeny bit of cake under there, but it was pretty well hidden!

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And then presents!  Books from the big kids’ special stashes, and a very special scooter from his parents.  Danny’s physical therapist helped us find one that was wide and stable enough for him to be able to use, and then she worked with him on it at PT to make sure he would be able to be successful right away on his birthday.

If somebody had told us, six years ago when Danny was a little tiny fragile baby on a ventilator, or five years ago when we were just starting to learn about his brain damage and CP, or even three years ago when we just knew that independent walking was probably an unrealistic dream…. but anyway, if somebody had told us on one of those birthdays that Danny would be getting a scooter that he was going to be able to use, out on the street with all the other boys, we never would have believed them.   But it’s really true.  A regular scooter, right off the shelf.  Not ordered from a catalog of adaptive recreation materials for handicapped kids.  And he can ride it all by himself.

I’ll leave you with an old photo… from exactly two years ago… that always makes me smile.

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13 thoughts on “Six years ago yesterday

  1. Elizabeth,
    I can’t believe Danny is six! Your journey with that “inspiring…way too smart for the ordinary person” little boy, has always been an example to me!

    You never left a doubt in him (or anyone else for that matter) that there would be a way for him to do anything he wanted to try. HE is why I knew YOU had so many lessons to “teach”…I just didn’t realize waht an impact you would make on all our lives! What lessons you have taught us! (Maybe after you have “recovered” we can just concentrate on knitting and photography?)

    Happy Birthday, Danny!

    Hugs and prayers to you and that special family of yours!

  2. Happy 6th Birthday Danny !!
    Enjoy that scooter!!
    and happy birthday to you too ~ I mean aren’t we the ones who remember the birth 🙂

    What an amazing journey~ and isn’t life wonderful ~ especially when you have to hear all the things they might not ever do~ then you get to be extra happy when they accompish them. Way to go Danny!

  3. Danny is a remarkable little boy, and it is only fitting that he should have a remarkable birthday celebration. The birthday ritual at school is inspiring, and I bet Nana and Papa loved it as much as Danny. Danny is living proof that what wasn’t expected to be possible, is, indeed, possible. Danny’s spirit soars above all the “will not be able to’s”.

    Elizabeth, I hope the joy and delight are helping you heal.

    Love, Nancy

  4. Wow, Danny!

    Happy birthday, yesterday! I think it was extra cool that Nana and Papa got to be at school with you for your celebration!

    Oh the places you will go and the things you will see, it is clear to me that you are special as can be!

    Nana and Papa’s friend,
    Teri

  5. If it’s possibly that anything could be yummier than the fact that you can knit socks with ice packs and pretty yarn, it is this story of Danny’s birthday. Happy Sixth to BOTH OF YOU from Rhode Island!

  6. Happy Birthday Danny!

    WOW~I cannot believe it has been six years! What an awesome gift … a scooter! 🙂 BIG HUGS to you all! Have a great weekend!

    LOVE all the pictures!

  7. Gosh, that 6 years just flew by! happy belated to Danny, I want to try that scooter!! Hugs to all…..

  8. Dear Elizabeth ~

    Danny’s accomplishments prove we should never say never. What a glorious birthday celebration for him – being the center of attention at school with Nana and Papa, cake, presents…life is GOOD!!!!! Love…love…love the violin picture.

    Love and prayers ~
    Jan

  9. Happy Birthday to one beautiful boy! 6 years…unbelievable-seems like yesterday… but I know it’s six because we had our own baby issues at that time…others are not supposed to grow up-only ours 😉
    OH, HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DANNY!! I’m so happy you are 6, it is such a wonderful age!

  10. Happy Birthday to Danny! It is really hard to believe that he is 6 years old. It seems like yesterday when he kept asking when he was going to be 4 so he could learn to play the violin like his big sister and brothers. It is amazing to see how far he has come in the past couple of years and how far he has come on his violin! I can’t wait for you to see him play in his recital this weekend. I know you are so proud of him. I am too!!!

  11. The paragraph about the scooter made me tear up–what a miracle! I hope his birthday was wonderful!

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