To Emma a party is a birthday party, no matter what we say to explain that this is not the case in every circumstance. Yesterday was no different. When Emma saw me pulling out the linen table cloth and setting the table for our Easter (or as we like to refer to it – Welcome to Spring) party she said, “It’s a birthday party!”
“No Em, it’s an easter party,” Richard said.
“Birthday party,” Emma insisted.
“Today is Easter. We’re having a dinner party for Easter,” Richard explained.
“Easter birthday party!” Emma said, jumping up and down.
“Not a birthday party, just Easter,” Richard patiently corrected her.
Not easily swayed, Emma cheerfully said again, “Easter birthday party!”
“Whatever Dad,” Nic said, accompanied by the one-two punch that apparently afflicts all tweens – shrugging his shoulders and rolling his eyes.
“Hey Em, sometimes we have a party and it’s not for anyone’s birthday…” I began.
“Christmas,” Richard interjected.
“Thanksgiving,” I added.
“Valentines Day, no wait that’s Daddy’s birthday,” I said, catching myself and realizing this was only going to confuse the situation.
“Birthday party,” Emma chimed in.
“Except no one is having a birthday tonight. We’re having people over just because it’s fun.”
At this point Emma wandered off, probably feeling we’d exhausted the subject. A little later she returned to survey the cooking and, since I’d made cupcakes for her and Nic and his friend, knowing they probably wouldn’t eat the meringue & apricot extravaganza I’d made for the rest of us, to lick the icing.
As though to prove her point she said, pointing to the purple, blue and green frosting, “Yum! Birthday cake,” Emma said.
“Easter cupcakes,” I said.
“For Easter,” Emma said, nodding her head.
“Yes! That’s right. For Easter.”
“Easter!” Emma said. And then as she was walking away she said very quickly and under her breath, “Easter birthday party!”
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism and an actual birthday party go to: EmmasHopeBook
I thought of Emma this Sunday just past/ Mothers Day My daughter wanted a “Happy Bir’day” ( how she says it) and pointed to a picture of a cake for the occasion. So we mixed and baked a cake. In the afternoon on went the candles and everyone sang Happy Mothers Day to you with enthusiasm and blew the candles out for me.
My son also with ASD had been counting down the days for me -“3 more days till Mothers day, 2 more days, 1 more day hang out the stocking. ” It was nice to see their excitement this year understanding it is a special day. Does it really matter Easter, Mothers Day , Birthday or Xmas- a party is fun!
Love this. Both my kids also sang – Happy Mother’s Day to the tune of Happy Birthday. So wonderful. I especially love the part of your story regarding your son counting down and saying, “One more day, hang out the stocking.”
By the way – Happy Mother’s Day!
Thank you Ariane. It sounds like we both had a lovely Mothers Day. It is special when the whole day just seems to work.