Since vacation, the weeks have been flying by and it seems school is inevitably drawing closer. Fall is my favorite time of the year -- the weather, the back-to-basics scheduling, getting ready for Christmas (yikes! 135 more days!).
This past weekend Michael, Brady and I went to my friend's three-year-old son's birthday party. It was held in this fabulous artsy craft store where the kids played with imagination-type toys -- kitchens and castles and blocks -- and then chose a wooden trinket to paint and bring home. For girls, there was a small jewelry-type dresser or wooden pocketbook; for boys there was a treasure chest or collection box. Michael chose the collection box and began designing his creation and painting.
Each chair at the paint table had a name plate where the guest was to sit to create. Brady had his own spot, which I smiled to myself, thinking, that they must just have them for all the kids at the party, regardless of age. Then I noticed my friend's niece skip over to her labeled chair, plop down and proceed to tell her mother what colors she wanted on her dresser she was painting. She grabbed a paint brush and stuck it right in the pink and purple, swirling it over the drawers and top. I glanced over at Brady, calmly laying back in his stroller watching the kids. It dawned on me that this little girl was a month older than Brady. Not two years, not three years... one month.
This realization made me turn my head to watch the twin girls running around so much they weren't even painting -- they were the twins in the baby seats at last year's party, also Brady's age. A little knot I wasn't expecting began to grow in my stomach... knowing and dealing with Brady being delayed is one thing - to actually see it in front of me is another. While I know my friend very well, I only see these other people at the birthday party every year and I am not aware if they know Brady has WS. I have girlfriends who have babies younger than Brady and their children are excelling right past him, but I don't notice it as much -- maybe because they are in this boat with me and I never feel the need to explain or make up for the differences. I am genuinely excited when this little one takes his first steps or that one says "momma". For some reason, these strangers put more of a heaviness in my heart. They didn't do anything or say anything; it was just all me.
I did pick up Brady and painted his fingers so he could decorate the box... he wasn't too keen on that, but after he had some of his bottle he was better. He started getting really fussy, but, relieved, I noticed it was because he was due for his nap. I finished feeding him and laid him in his stroller where he proceeded to just chill. I was able to sit and chat with my friend for quite awhile while the other parents ran after their kids, who ran around the store picking up toys and throwing them around. The little devil inside of me just smiled.