Tonight we celebrated Bersisa’s ninth (ish) birthday. I’ve posted a few pics. He asked for a white cake, and he chose the red and green Christmas sprinkles for the top. He loved that we had nine candles and a “nine” candle.
It has not exactly been a good day. For some reason that we’ll never know, something upset him in the car on the way to Jake’s baseball game, and he was quiet and withdrawn the entire game. Total strangers walked up to him to try to cajole him out of his funk, as well as the parents on our team who kindly gave it the ‘ol college try. No one made a dent in his sulkiness. Some days are like that with him. He’s the oldest of our adopted bunch. And the oldest always struggles the most.
But this evening was fun. I brought out his wrapped presents and he had to stare at them through dinner and post dinner clean up. (My idea of a little birthday torture….) He happily tolerated Saminas and Sahye complaining that it wasn’t their birthday. (It’s been impossible to explain this birthday thing to them. They honestly feel slighted that it’s not their turn! No matter how many times I explain it or act it out having a baby—which I’m not doing anymore!—they think birthdays are randomly assigned. Oh wait….for them, they are! You can see my problem here.) Bersisa was engaged and helpful and sweet—our favorite version of him. He took to the chaos of unwrapping gifts like a champ. He started out cautious, of course—that’s our boy. But Jake encouraged him to experience the joy of wrapping-paper-ripping, and with a little help from Saminas, the paper flew. He had a great big smile over the cake and he blew his candles out with gusto.
Tonight, Bersisa was a happy, newly nine, boy. Whatever weight he was burdened to carry through the day he put off, shrugging like Atlas to rid himself of the weight of the world. No doubt, he’ll find that weight once again to carry around. Probably tomorrow. But my hope and my prayer is that each time he lets it go, he sees that he now has others to carry that weight for him, with him. His mom and dad. His big brother and sister. His grandparents, his teacher, his coach. His friends. His Father in heaven. Someday he’ll understand he’s not alone, nor is he in charge, and will never be again. What a gift he has, waiting for him.
Happy Birthday, Bersisa. We love you so very much!