Nine

Today, our Tommy Pickles turns nine years old. Part of me wonders where the time went. Part of me thinks he’s aged me 9 years…in dog years.

On this ninth birthday, Tommy still can’t eat cake. Someday I hope he can! Instead, he’s excited to have treasure hunts to look for his gifts and is hoping those gifts include anything Mario Bros., planets or maps. Speaking of maps, he’s newly obsessed with electoral maps.

Over this last year, in November, Tommy took a day trip to NYC to see the Radio City Hall Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular. He loved the numbers in the 12 Days of Christmas and still talks about it almost daily. In December, he started back at Special Olympics. He continued his First Communion class and subsequently started leading us all in prayer each night at dinner (does he know us at all?!?) just so he can shout “dig in everyone.”

When COVID hit, Tom adjusted to remote learning. Fortunately, he has the best of the best teachers and support staff and his transition was relatively smooth. He also took the opportunity to learn to ride his bicycle with training wheels. That’s a huge milestone for him.

By summer, Tommy insisted he could swim without a life jacket or our help. He swore his school taught him to swim. Turns out, he can swim, but only just a short distance until he’s zapped of all energy. None the less, Tommy loved being home with his brothers in isolation and doing what he loves: swimming, swings, video games and playing with his planets. I loved the time with all three boys; silver linings.

Not a day goes by that Tommy doesn’t lament how much “coronavirus ruined everything!” we cancelled our annual Disney trips. Even more of a disappointment, we cancelled our long awaited family reunion cruise in the Caribbean. Tommy wants so badly to travel to different countries! Trips come and go. I’m sure we would have made great memories, but we have made great memories right here at home.

In September, Tommy and William made their First Communion. We kept William back so they could work together and I’m glad we did. School also resumed for T. His program is small and vigilant, so our worries are small regarding COVID.

Halloween was almost non-existent. That’s usually Tommy’s time to show off his one-of-a-kind costumes. This year, he wanted to be a toilet. In the context of 2020, it seemed appropriate. I hadn’t gotten out of the design stage before Tommy changed his mind and asked to be Wario. So, Wario he was, even if it was just at home with his bros: Mario and Luigi.

All in all, it’s been a great year. We’re looking forward to nine. I’m not sure what the next 365 will hold, but I know it won’t skimp on love, laughter, meltdowns, planet talk, Wario, stimming, and AFV.

Happy Birthday, Thomas. You have my heart forever.


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