Leo was born in 2000, so his birthday age will always match the year. Convenient, that, for those of us who take a few moments to remember our own age. Doesn't make it any less shocking that our boy is fourteen.
This year, we focused on doing exactly what Leo wanted, especially on his actual birthday since it fell on a Sunday.
He woke up happy, and immediately got happier upon being told "happy birthday!"
|[Image: Leo smiling, slightly blurry photo
Head and shoulders only, orange t-shirt,
white background featuring hanging plant]
For his breakfast, he got those forbidden f***ing donuts.
For lunch, he had Indian buffet. With lassi, naan, and saag!
|[Image: Leo sipping orange mango lassi
through a red straw.]
Then he came home and got a Singing Talking Olaf as a birthday present. He was entranced.
|[Image: Leo in profile, holding and looking intently at a
stuffed Olaf the Snowman from the movie Frozen.]
For dinner, he had pizza. Which he asks for daily. And is a special treat.
After dinner, we went to Rockin' jump with a few friends. Not a party, just a casual thing. No pie or pizza. The focus was the jumping. And whooooo, was there jumping!
|[Image: Leo mid-air, jumping from one gray
trampoline to another, amidst a teal field.]
Some hoops were shot, at Rockin' Jump. This is not something Leo had found easy to do in the past, but his adaptive PE class includes basketball and football practice. I observed significant Nothing but Net.
|[Image: Leo throwing a yellow
basketball into a hoop, with his dad cheering
next to him. Seen from a distance.]
After Rockin' jump, we came home and Leo had a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a candle in it, and we sang his favorite song: Happy Birthday. He was so excited that he led the song himself, the moment I lit his candle.
|[Image: Leo blowing out a long white candle,
with his sisters watching in the background.]
Then we came home and Leo wanted to relax. So he sat on the couch and listened to the first Violent Femmes album. As many a fourteen-year-old boy has done before him. And that was the end of his first of three birthday celebration days.
|[Image: Leo lying down on our brown couch,
with his green iPad held up to his face.]
The next day, Leo's class had a birthday party for him. They made him a very cool card.
|[Image: Multicolored letters on a white background reading
Happy Birthday Leo, next to a cartoon cupcake and
yellow and blue balloons.]
And we had very healthy cupcake-like muffins. There are a few GFCF kids in the class, so I brought wheat- & dairy free chocolate cupcakes for them. Except all the kids liked the GFCF treats better than the all-natural cinnamon crumbly cakes, and polished them off.
Then we sang Happy Birthday for the second day in a row, and Leo beamed.
|[Image: Leo seated at a low table, in front of a
white plate with a brown cupcake, with
a long white burning candle in it.]
The very next day, we drove down to Disneyland, where Leo was given a Happy Birthday Leo badge, and we sang him Happy Birthday one last time. He was considerably more pleased than he looks in this photo, not just because of the forbidden chocolate cupcake, but because he was at Disneyland after asking to go there nearly every day for 20 months straight. (You can read about our very successful trip and my overcoming anxiety re: the new Disability Access System pass, at TPGA.)
|[Image: Leo seated at a table, looking down at a
chocolate cupcake topped by a lit candle.]
So that is what Leo's fourteenth birthday looked like. He had a great time. We had a great time. And now we all need to rest for a while! Yay fourteen.