We all love our kids, but we all know our excitement and fulfillment on being a parent has it's ups and downs. Some days we would just as soon someone else had the job, some days things just hum along as usual, and some days we are bursting and oozing with pride and gratitude over the phenomenal gift of our child, so thankful they've been loaned to us for a precious period of time. Yesterday Elliot had his school birthday. The actual day is October 9th, but they space out the school celebrations. I took Quinton at the usual time, and Dan & I arrived with Elliot at 11:20, a couple hours late as requested. Upon arrival Emma met us in the hall where she placed a gold crown on Elliot's head, and a white angel cape trimmed in gold around his shoulders. He loved this. Then we made a quiet procession into the room, where two of the boys dressed in special red capes held up a cord with bells for us to walk under. The children all sat quietly in a circle, and Dan, Quinton, Elliot & I took our special seats (covered in a gold cloth, of course) in the circle. Emma sang a special song, and then proceeded to tell a beautiful story about a little angel who wanted to come down to earth, and asked his guardian if he could do so. "Yes, it's time." the guardian said, and the little angel walked over the rainbow bridge down to earth where he was given a special mommy and daddy, and the name Elliot.
Ahead of time, Dan & I were asked to submit a little biography for Elliot - a few bits about each year of his life. Emma had memorized the important parts of this, and had an angel candle in front of her, with six candles in a ring around it. She told the story of each year of his life, ending with "...and then Elliot was three...." lit the candle, and so on. This was so beautiful I was in tears, and Elliot listened with such wonderment - like, yes! - that's what happened! How does Emma know all of this?
When the story was done a painted envelope tied with yarn was passed around the ring to Elliot, filled with cards that all the children had made for him that morning while he was away. He was asked to look at and show each one, and there was such pride and excitement from each of the children. Elliot could hardly contain himself. He then was passed a present - a little felt bag full of shiny crystal stones, each one different for each year of his life. After was a special snack and cake, and more festivities.
Elliot, who usually prefers not to be the center of attention, was basking in his day. What a testament to how secure he feels in this place where he spends so much of his week.
At the end of the school day Dan & I stayed to have an informal conference with Emma on how the children are doing at school, etc. With all the history we have with Elliot over the last three years we always brace for the difficult discussion. But Emma had only positive and encouraging things to say. She said he is such a part of the group, and so well liked, she rarely worries about him. She is confident that everything that needs to come for him will. But certainly, we thought and pressed....there must be some struggles? This was very hard to accept. Why is it hard to take good news? Maybe this is a sign that Dan & I should actually do what we said we would try to do this year - let the label go and just let Elliot be a six year old boy. A quirky one of course, but just six nonetheless. So I'll exhale and let it go, and just enjoy that things are well.