If you have been reading our site over the years you know that each year we CELEBRATE our oldest son Matthew’s Birthday. We do the standard party and cake with candles like most families. But each birthday means so much more to us. Being told your son only has half a heart (hypoplastic left heart syndrome) and that each day is a gift… this makes each year nothing shy of a miracle. Today my sweet baby boy turns 11 years old! What a journey it has been, when I think back to those days/ months we spent in the hospital trying to keep him alive. I only prayed we would have the “normal” life we are blessed with every day now. This year has had it’s struggles with his seizures coming back, but over all his health has been amazing. And for that we thank our Father In Heaven for EVERYDAY!
On a spur of the moment choice I decided to leave my work behind for the night (the reason there is no Albertsons Instore TTV deals the week) and instead go on a DATE with my big guy. He was beyond excited and could not wait to go on a date with Mom. I let him pick the restaurant and without thinking twice he wanted “NOODLES”.
My baby boy is 11 but due to his heart he is much smaller than most his age, and from other complications he is also delayed some. Developmentally he functions at more of kindergarten level (he is in the 4th grade). But that does not hold him back he is the happiest, most social little guy in his whole school. While at the restaurant he saw two girls from his school both of which he ran right up to say hi. I finished before him, as he was doing more talking than eating. I just sat and listened to him ramble on about his day and how much fun he was having. He would eat, talk some and then snuggle my arm and say “thanks for my date Mom, this is awesome”. He was all smiles.
It was finally time for fortune cookies. I read him his fortune ” You’ll find inspiration to reach your goal from the next movie you watch“. Then he quickly replied…. “Mom I am going to watch Funny Home Videos with Tom Bergeron, that show is hilarious”.
We laughed together and I gave him a hug. That is one of the best things about Matthew he is just always happy, he does not worry about the things most people do. He is just happy and likes to make people smile too. He does it without even trying!
We then took a quick trip to the dollar store where I let him go on a SHOPPING SPREE. He loves that store, and I told him he could get what ever he wanted. As we walked down the isles he said hi to everyone we saw. It makes no difference to him that they are strangers he greeted them like they are old friends. I was not sure what he could come up with, but I was touched when he picked a few things for himself and then got gifts for his brother and sisters as well.
Our last stop of the night was downtown Caldwell, it was the first night they turned on the Holiday lights. They had a big event with street vendors, music playing, camels, reindeer, and Santa. He was so excited to go see Santa and once we were done he said, “Mom, was that Santa’s mudder (mother)”. Silly boy always makes me laugh.
As we walked hand in hand, thru the beautiful lights he told me, ” Mom, thank you this is the BEST DAY EVER”. A little emotional I gave him a squeeze and told him he was the best date I had ever had too (just don’t tell Daddy that lol).
As a young mother 11 years ago faced with the overwhelming task of caring for a child with special needs I felt a bit hopeless. I felt under qualified and scared, all I knew was I loved this tiny boy more than I had ever loved anything before…. and that was enough to give me the strength to try and be his Mommy. And hand in hand we have come so far!
Happy 11th Birthday Matthew
I love you more than you will ever know, and I pray the lord gives us another healthy year to come.
Matthew 2 weeks old
You can read more about Matthew and being Hypoplastic Left heart here under I’m A Heart Mom.
What is a Mommy Moment, click here