We have had a very busy, party filled, past three days! Emelia and Asa have had two party invites. The first invite was to Emelia’s friend’s birthday on 20th December. Mia is now three years old, and she will be in the same school year as Emelia, hopefully in the same school! It was a great afternoon, filled with bouncy castles, party food, lots of happy sugar filled children and a beautiful rainbow cake made by Mia’s mummy, Keri! (Although, we’ve recently stopped Emelia’s naps in the day time as she was taking rather a long time to drift off… so when it was time to leave, it was a different story!). Asa got to hang out with his buddy Rog. I have a feeling they will be great friends as Asa grows up and understands how special his ‘Uncle Rog’ is. What is age between friends?
Thanks Mia (and parents), we all had a great time!
Our second invite was to my Grandma and Grampy’s annual ‘Guy’ family get together. I love this family tradition. It has grown in the last eight years to include Jon, his parents, Emelia and now Asa, as well as my parents, two brothers (and one’s girlfriend) and my little niece Cerys. Sometimes my uncle and wife are there too – it’s a busy evening! It’s a good job that my grandparents had a large conservatory extension a number of years ago. My grandparents live in Llangybi, near Usk, so we don’t see them as much as we’d like to. This annual evening is an early Christmas, particularly for them.
Our third invite was to Doug and Joy’s children’s Christmas party, which was this afternoon. Emelia was invited last year, and this year, both our children were invited. I actually found it very moving, that these wonderful and generous people would open up their home to all the church children in primary school and younger…
Each child and baby were bought a present. Emelia loved her doll from ‘Father Christmas’. Asa was the youngest there, and I had tears in my eyes when he sat on ‘Father Christmas’ lap, and we opened his present for him (toy links – perfect for his tiny hands!). To top it off, the children were also given a party bag filled with chocolate and smaller stocking filler toys. I can’t really explain why I found this part of the party so moving. I think it’s the fact that Asa is just seen as one of the children, ‘one of the gang’, totally and utterly unconditionally accepted by everyone in Bethesda. Loved. Cared for. Prayed for. This may possibly be the only public place he is accepted as just ‘one of the kids’, for who is he, where his Down’s syndrome isn’t that big a deal. I hope I’m wrong… But sometimes I hear stories of parents having to fight for inclusion of children with disabilities, whether physical or a learning disability, and that frightens me. Other strong, local parents are fighting and paving the way for those of us with younger children, and to them I am grateful.
Today however, Asa and Emelia have had fun hanging out with their friends from church. In fact, over the past three days, they have had nothing but fun (and sugar!!!!)! They have just been children. I think for children to just be children is probably the best gift of childhood. That, and knowing Jesus for themselves!