Can I have my birthday party here?
I love Madison.
She is an amazing kid with a refreshing take on life. She made it through surgery like a champ. Thanks to all the great folks at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. They were all so kind and understanding to Madison. And us.
Madison is a kid who thrives on routine and familiar expectations. Even now, as we just finished a trip to Disney World she is looking forward to the time she and I will go for her birthday in April. She has few high-water, memorable moments in life so the ones she has are big deals.
She has been working on a list for Santa since August.
She is even now making pictures for the characters for our six-month-away trip to Florida.
And she is always on the lookout for a place to have her birthday party. Because the birthday party is always a big deal, the establishment chosen to host the party is receiving the highest honor possible from Madison.
So on Friday, with orange popsicle in hand, and a balloon in her plastic take home bag, she asked, “Can I have my birthday here?”
No offense to the find people at Vandy, but there are about a zillion places I can think of that I think would be a better place to have a birthday party. Chuck E Cheese, the Zoo, maybe a dumpster behind the mall. Anything but the hospital…
But then it dawned on me. She has already had a birthday party at Vanderbilt.
Several years ago, just moments before we were to leave for her birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, she had a horrible seizure and fell down a flight of stairs at home. It was brutal. One of the few big deals in her life was being taken away because of these stupid seizures.
So after an ambulance ride and an evening full of tests, we made it home, long past the time of the party. Madison’s PaPa actually had to go to Chuckie Cheese and tell all her friends that she could not be at her own party because she was otherwise occupied.
Such is the life we lead…
So I guess I will tell Madison that maybe we should have her party somewhere else next spring, because we have already done a party at Vanderbilt.
Been there, done that, paid the bill.
(And frankly, as I remember it, the goody bags and games were not all that fun.)