Well Oscar’s birthday weekend was a great success. We’re exhausted, as it was non stop but we all had a fab time! Unfortunately, leading up to his birthday, Oscar had been pretty poorly. He’d had an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, which had really wiped him out for a good week or so. I was in two minds about whether to hold the party we’d been planning but fortunately, in true Oscar style, he bounced back just in time.
Chris and I have been completely overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of both our family and friends. Oscar has not only been spoilt rotten with presents and cards, he has been showered, as always, with love in an abundance. We couldn’t have asked for more.
The weekend started with Oscar’s 2nd Birthday Party. We had 16 children, 5 babies and 29 adults attend, which was busy to say the least… But just so lovely. We had children from Oscar’s Playgroup, Music Group, NCT Group, Family Friends, as well as from PSDS (the amazing group of children (who, like Oz, all have Down syndrome), that we meet up with every week for therapies and play). It was so brilliant to have so many of Oscar’s friends and ours, in the one place. The day was very special to us.
The weather was forecast to brighten up in the afternoon, however as soon as the first guest arrived, the heavens opened and it chucked it down!!! We didn’t let it dampen our spirits though. Thankfully we had a gazebo in the garden which we were able to take shelter under and our new “under cover car port” doubled up as a childrens play area with a mini bouncy castle, trampoline, bikes, cars, ball pit, houses etc for the kiddies to play with.
I’d arranged to lead a little sing and sign session with a few of Oscar’s favourite songs (“Wind the bobbin up”, “Twinkle twinkle little star”, “Happy and you know it” etc) which I’m told, was enjoyed by all. We had a mini parachute for the children to play with and then they all sat on the big rug and ate their picnic. Hey, it even brightened up in the end.
There was more play, MORE wine for the adults ;0), then a very weary Oscar, who literally didn’t stop charging around all afternoon, went to bed a very happy boy.
On Sunday we spent a fantastic day at Fishers Farm in Billingshurst, with a lot of families from PSDS. The day is an annual event, that’s arranged by the trustees of the charity and we had such a brilliant time. I must just say, thank you so much to PSDS for organising such a fab day…. The trustees all have children who also have Down Syndrome like Oscar. They put their heart and soul into making their charity the best it can be and we couldn’t be more grateful. Oscar, who was still pretty exhausted from the excitement of his party the day before, did so well, wandering around looking at farm animals, bouncing on gigantic cushions, riding on cars, tractors, swings…. I’m not sure who had more fun on the rides, Oscar or his daddy but needless to say, he was asleep before we even got out the car park.
Finally, yesterday, Oscar’s actual birthday, we spent having lunch with family and then went on to “soft play centre” in the afternoon. The smile on Oscar’s face was testimony to how much fun he had… I don’t think it faltered all day long. Perfect.
So two years on… A time to reflect on how far we’ve come. Oscar has truly had an amazing year. After getting over his heart surgery, he has come on leaps and bounds. He starts mainstream nursery in September, a big milestone for us here. He started to bum shuffle this year, to pull himself up to stand and then to our amazement, as we were told he had very low muscle tone, he walked at just 19 months! He continues to progress daily with his communication and understanding. It’s not always easy but he’s getting there, in slow baby steps, which is fine by me. He’s made new friends this year, he’s holidayed in Europe but one of his most exciting achievements, is that he’s become a big brother to Alfie.
I think though, one of the main things I’ve learnt this year, is the power of strength. Strength of character. Not only ours as parents, but more than anything, about Oscar’s strength and determination. He has let nothing hold him back or stand in his way and continues, every single day, to amaze us.
Two years on and life is good. It’s not always smooth sailing, a few curveballs have been thrown here and there but we’re happy. And hey, that’s what life’s about afterall.