You may have missed it!
We did not announce Caleb’s special day – nearly ten days ago now.
No cinnamon roll photos.
No ice cream cake.
Caleb celebrated his 18th birthday, but we haven’t said a word – until today.
Where did this month of June go, anyway?
It is unfortunate, but life sometimes dictates not just one interruption, but other delays as well.
This is what happened with Caleb’s 18th birthday.
Just days before Caleb’s birthday, his older brother Jake had all four of his wisdom teeth extracted. It never would have been our choice to have Jake’s oral surgery the same week as Caleb’s birthday. That’s not how we roll. However, Jake’s pain and discomfort demanded an immediate response, and we are grateful that time and space were made available for Jake to have his teeth extracted.
However, this meant that Jake could not eat any of Caleb’s birthday dinner.
So, we asked Caleb if he would be willing to delay his birthday a few days.
The other factor to the timing of Caleb’s birthday celebration was that his eldest brother, Micah, would be coming home for the summer.
In addition to waiting for Jake to heal, would Caleb be willing to wait for Micah to return home and to celebrate Caleb’s birthday – all together as a family?
Caleb replied, “Of course.”
Friends, this is a big deal. You may or may not remember how difficult a time Caleb had last year – just as our COVID life was amping up all over the world. Our family had not been able to return to South Africa and was living life in the basement of friends. Caleb was very sad. Demoralized, even. He appreciated that we were safe and were loved where we were. Yet, he was missing home. Caleb did not have any idea what was ahead, and the uncertainty of our lives weighed heavily upon him. Us, too, for that matter.
So, last year, I asked friends and family to send Caleb some birthday love. Emails, cards, and presents were showered upon our young son last year. Caleb loved opening every single birthday card he received from all segments of his life. All the care and attention helped Caleb get through a difficult time.
Flash forward a year, and most of you will note that I did not send out an SOS for birthday love for Caleb this year.
We did not need to do that.
Caleb is making his way in our new life in New Mexico. We still don’t have our furniture or other belongings from our home in South Africa, but day by day, our family is adjusting to our new life. Caleb is enjoying exploring our new digs, and some great things are coming together for him. We are grateful for that.
When Jake’s wisdom tooth event, Micah’s return, and other life events just burst into our lives – all during Caleb’s birthday week – we asked if it was okay for Caleb to wait for his birthday.
Caleb said, “Yes.”
Caleb opened a few presents on his birthday, and of course, I baked him some cinnamon rolls. 😊
However, for all of the other birthday fun and festivities, that needed to wait for a few days.
For some of us, birthdays are not really that big of a deal. We do not really care about them – our birthday can come and can go without any fanfare. No one needs to do anything!
Others of us want all the birthday-love we can experience! We enjoy the balloons, the candles, the flowers, the friends, the family, and all of the festivities. We do not want to miss one single thing!
And then there are those of us who appreciate the intimacy of a smaller gathering of family and friends for our birthday. For us, it’s the relationships that matter, and not the things.
Can you guess where Caleb’s birthday interests lie? ❤
Our 18-year-old loves his family more than having his birthday celebrated on the day of his birthday. Caleb wanted to make sure his older brother, Jake, was okay. Also, Caleb was eager to have his eldest brother, Micah, present, too, for lots of yummy pizza, and a delicious Oreo-ice cream cake. This is a pretty, big deal in the autism life that we live. Caleb demonstrated the amazing gifts of maturity, generosity, care, compassion, and love for his brothers.
So, instead of Caleb only receiving gifts for his birthday this year, he gave quite a few important gifts as well.
Happy 18th Birthday, Caleb. We love you!