One of my most favorite things to do as a mom is celebrating my children’s birthdays. Let me be clear, this is not a let us only celebrate on the "day of" event at the Zaila household. This is a minimum of 6 day celebration that we like to call "Birthday Week". Lucky for our house we have two birthdays; one on the secular calendar, and one on the Hebrew calendar. I hang balloons...I HATE BALLOONS. I decorate chalkboards. I make birthday wreaths. I go ALL out. If there is one thing I joke about, it is that when I have lived my last day here on earth and I am buried, while my children are sitting around talking about all the mistakes I made as a parent, one of them will loudly proclaim "She may have yelled at us, and wasn’t always nice, but man did ema do an amazing job celebrating our birthdays".
I LOVE how much my children look forward to birthday week. How much they love the countdown, as they take a picture grinning from ear to ear in front of the message on the chalkboard sign in the playroom saying how long we have until the big event. I love how much Bubbie looks forward to creating cupcakes for the big occasion, making sure these little morsels of heaven are created perfectly for her little grandbabies and transported with such care across the US. I love how excited the kids get about blowing out their candles and eating the yummy cakes. Birthday presents are not the focus, but trust me; the kids are not deprived of that necessary 50th train, 100th doll, or 4th stroller.
Like I said, birthdays have been my thing. Until CDKL5. Gosh, I HATE this stupid string of characters. This past week was our little Moonchacha’s 2nd birthday. I went through the motions of celebrating her big day, but a piece of my heart was just not present. I tried SO hard, I really did. I went back and forth in my head with my thoughts, trying to get rid of the negative ones, pleading for them to go away. But through it all was the voice… “What is Sonya’s birthday going to be like?” “Will Sonya be able to sit on her birthday?” “Will she be able to do her smash cake for those adorable pictures we all live for?” “Will Sonya actually care about her party theme when she turns 2?” With each ear to earn grin her sister gave me in front of her birthday wall, was the looming question, “Will she smile at the camera when we take her picture?”
As the thoughts continued to pour into my head, the guilt came as well. I felt so badly for her sister that I wasn’t so overly excited about her party. How is it fair to ALL of her siblings if I let the CDKL5 overshadow every event? It isn’t.
Like sour milk, every little or big thing in our house is overshadowed...it is now tainted. Sure it is easy to say “Focus on the positives”, “You have control over your thoughts”, and other such phrases. YES, I can control my thoughts; YES, I can put positives in the bank; YES, I could not let CDKL5 ruin my day; but the truth is...it wouldn’t change a thing.