Today is my nephew's 10th birthday party. He is the second oldest of the grandkids, 2 years behind David. I used to watch both of my oldest nephews from the time they were babies until they went to kindergarten. Mikel has turned into quite a thoughtful little man who's into video games, computers, or pretty much anything that involves technology. He also asks a lot of questions about David, trying to figure him out, or even just understand everything better.
Having him turning ten has me thinking back to almost 2 years ago when David turned ten. That was a huge birthday for me as a parent. To have a child reach the double digits seemed a little unreal. I look at the HUGE differences in Mikel and David at the age of ten. I'm 99% positive that Mikel will be receiving lots of gift cards for Best Buy, XBox, or just cash. I looked back at the pictures from David's 10th birthday party. He received lots of clothes in a size 6. He got an infant mirror for ages 3-6 months (which he still loves by the way). Mikel doesn't like regular cake, so he asked for an ice cream cake. David didn't even know there was cake there, because he can't eat normally.
In my head, I think of all of the things that I missed when David turned 10. I know Kyle will reach 10 one day and I will see many similarities to this birthday celebration today, but I never got to see that with David.
Then I throw my heart in there along with my head. I close my eyes and I try to picture what David would have been like if he was "normal" when he turned 10. I can't. I can't picture it. Because it wouldn't be DAVID in those pictures. David was a ten year old boy who thinks like an infant. He can't hear. He can't eat by mouth (even though we sneak him some tastes). He can't walk or talk. He is now almost 12. He still thinks like an infant. He still can't hear. And he still can't eat by mouth. Walking and talking still aren't, or will ever be something he can do. But he's mine. Kyle's mine. Neither one is perfect. David's David and Kyle (who is stubborn BEYOND belief, but woke me up at 7 with a huge hug and a kiss this morning) is Kyle. I love them both more than I can even describe.
I tried to picture a different life. But THAT isn't my life. THIS is my life. Hard as it may be, it is mine. God gave it to me. So I'll take it.
Happy Birthday to Mikel Jr. on Wednesday! Proud of both of my nephews for loving and taking an interest in their cousins!