Often, when we are so wrapped up in grief, things slip past us. The concept of time can slap us right in the face and we are scrambling to put things together for an event or holiday.
Worse, at times, we just wish the event/holiday/social gathering/appearance
would altogether disappear.
While I adore my baby boy so very much, I would be lying if I told you I had been looking forward to preparing for his sixth birthday party.
Truth: I was full on dreading it.
And with so many other things falling apart, the day crept up on me faster than I wanted to admit.
The planning was drowning to me:
Trying to laugh.
Deciding where to have it.
Having to pick an outfit for myself that wasn't sweats and my brother's brown hoodie.
For someone who is still grieving a party with screaming toddlers, balloons and party favors
was my personal version of hell.
Little Man wasn't the most help either.
On days I felt like I was in a frame of mind to plan, I would ask him what he wanted to do for his birthday.
His answers would range from taking his entire kindergarten class on a play date (Uh, NO!!!!),
to The Hero and I buying him a b.b. gun (UH, DOUBLE NO)
to all of us going to Disney World (Not in the budget).
He also refused to settle on a theme.
He would tell me "Mom, you know I like it all."
"Lots of minions."
With not much else to go off of and no real energy to peruse Pinterest looking for ways to entertain six year olds, I buckled under the pressure.
The invitations were by Facebook invite only.
Family and a few of our dearest friends whose children I knew I could socially tolerate.
Decorations were a hodge podge of all of his favorites.
Cupcakes were of the store-bought variety.
We topped off the whole cupcake/punch affair with a candy-crammed pinata, sang Happy Birthday and celebrated our newly turned six year old.
We even made it, just the four of us out for dinner to the Ethiopian restaurant in our area for an extra dosing of celebrating.
All of it was beautiful and special and he felt on top of the world.
And for one small glimmer of an afternoon, life felt....well, I would like to say normal, but I hate that word.
I know that's not a real word.
I made it up.
But grieving through my brother's death has left most of my breaths like they are unable
to be let loosed from my chest.
And for one small, Sunday afternoon surrounded by our family and friends, I felt
covered in enough love to let out a breath and not immediately feel the need to fall apart.
Which allowed me to embrace and enjoy this smile:
Happy Super Six to my favorite Dinosaur! And to all of those we know and love us who made the day extra special and who didn't even notice that the party was not Pinterest worthy, but was worthy for nothing more than the company.