Janey will be six two weeks from today. Birthdays always bring up a nest of feelings. Every year, I think to myself "Maybe next year she'll know what a birthday is, look forward to it, get excited about it". I think this year I'll stop thinking that. I get with her like people get about getting older---I don't want her to get to be older, because that's just putting her further from where she "should" be mentally. That's a bad thought, but a truthful one.
Presents are another nest of bees. She already got one present, from the very wonderful lady who has volunteered to work with her this summer. It was so nice---a fairy wand that is perfect for her, and wooden bears you can change the expressions of. And of course Janey had the typical gift reaction---freaking out, screaming, throwing it around. And the woman was hurt, despite trying not to be. And I was mortified. And of course within an hour, the fairy wand was her favorite thing ever---she's loved it right to death already. But presents are tough---they aren't expected, they require a reaction she doesn't understand, they are nightmares for her in some ways. As would be a typical birthday party. And that's fine---for her. For me, it's harder. I still hold onto the dream of giving her a little girl party, with some special presents that she will be thrilled about. I dream of getting the American Girl catalog and going through it with her page by page, talking about what we would order if we could, and maybe picking out a few special thing to get, and some Christmas blowing all my money and buying her a doll and furniture and it being something she remembers always....and it's never going to happen. And I need to get over that.
I ordered her presents from a web site I should give a shout-out to, for other parents of autistic kids. It's officeplayground.com They are aimed at little toys for use in offices, but they realize a lot of the same toys work for autistic people. They have all kinds of "fidget" toys, things you can play around with using your hands, like stress balls, Tangles, those toys with water inside that looks like waves, etc. Their prices were good and I ordered her about 10 little toys. I hope she likes them. It felt like a realization. I didn't try to get her typical 6 year old toys, because that's what I wanted to get. I tried to get her something she'd love. I need to do that with as many aspects of her life as I can. She fights such an uphill battle just fitting into this world; I don't need to add to it.
Her birthday is also Freddy's birthday---he will be 13. Maybe that all was arranged somehow---that I'd have another birthday the same day. Who knows? Freddy wishes he had his own day! He's ready to be a teenager---he's been one for a while. It makes both their birthdays very special to me. I'm so lucky to have them both, and their brother William.