Molly is 17!
Early spring is a busy time at Patchwork Farm as we celebrate three birthdays in a row with Ozzie, Grace, and Molly’s birthdays each falling a month apart.
This birthday began as all birthdays do here at Patchwork Farm with an early morning wake-up serenade and cake for breakfast.
This year was a bit different, however, due to an unusually packed Friday. Grace was on the schedule to work, Toby was at work, and I had committed myself to a two day simulcast conference…something I was struggling to remain committed to after Ozzie woke up itching for a fight.
Holidays are hard for Ozzie. Birthdays, in particular, are hard for Ozzie. Through therapy we have discovered that the motive behind the sabotage that often occurs on other’s birthdays are result of hard feelings he has about memories of his birthdays in his birth home. They were not nice and he struggles with feelings of anger and resentment towards the parents that stole his childhood from him. When he sees another one of our children being celebrated and loved he feels threatened and fears that by them receiving, he is losing out. What he deals with is not unique for kids from a trauma background, but it does make holidays and birthdays hard. I struggle to find the balance in addressing his trauma triggers while still protecting the birthday child from Ozzie’s efforts to sabotage and derail their special day.
This is why I was so worried when I committed to spend 8 hours of Molly’s birthday outside the home and leave Ozzie home with the other children. It was only the prompting of the Holy Spirit and hope that through this conference we would get much needed help and direction with the crisis at home, that I left the house for the day.
But, even with many prayers prayed, I hedged my bets with a special deposit in Molly’s love tank before I left for the day in hopes that even if things derailed in my absence the day would not be a complete washout.
My solution: an early morning breakfast with Molly before I left and before her school day began. I took her to Eat n’ Park for the breakfast buffet, where we enjoyed a very special hour of waffles, bacon, and one-on-one time before our day began.
The conference was life changing and I recognized God’s hand in leading me there as soon as the first speaker began talking (more on that in the next blog.) Meanwhile everyone survived at home.
That evening we enjoyed a family dinner. Molly requested spaghetti pizza, salad and garlic bread.
We also has “fancy “soda, which then evolved into a concert of epic proportions when the empty soda bottles were turned into musical instruments.
Gracie got home from work at 9:00 and we celebrated Molly’s birthday as a family with cake and gifts.
Everyone had put much thought into their gifts for Molly. As is tradition, the gifts were given from youngest to oldest. Tyler gave Molly three new lipsticks that he picked out himself.
Ozzie bought her a Bambi pillow.
He was thrilled that she was thrilled.
Rusty bought Molly the Disney movie, The Princess and the Frog.
Grace was excited to give Molly the gift she had been working on for quite a while. She decided she wanted to paint Molly a painting that was reflective of Molly. She decided to combine this with their shared love of American Sign Language and paint her the sign of a word that describes Molly, and then finger spell her name at the bottom. Gracie’s biggest struggle with this project was to decide which adjective best describes Molly. She came to me with a list, hoping for help deciding. In the end she chose the word, “Special.”
The gift was received with as much love as it was given.
Molly was touched to tears.
Our gift was also a hit, although much less sentimental and a lot more practical. For Molly’s 17th birthday she received her first cell phone. In our family we have the rule that ownership of a cell phone comes only with a need for a cell phone. Which means: a driver’s license or a job. Molly now meets the prerequisites which means she is now the owner of her first cell phone. She was very excited.
The next day we enjoyed the birthday activity that couldn’t happen on her actual birthday due to our crazy schedules that day. We surprised her with tickets for the family to go see “Shrek: The Musical” at Lincoln Park, a performing arts high school near us.
It was so much fun. The caliber of talent was exceptional. The costumes, backdrops, and use of puppetry were unreal. It was hard to believe that we were watching high school students. Molly loved it!
Even the little boys enjoyed themselves. There were just enough 10-year-old boy jokes sprinkled in to make a play enjoyable for them as well.
Happy birthday, Miss Molly. I hope you had a good day!