Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Decade

Oscar is TEN today. 

For the past few years I've occasionally thought about how I would honor the passing of Oscar's first decade. I'm not talking about the standard birthday cake, balloons and presents.  I'm talking about going back and really acknowledging the journey -- the bumps and the triumphs.

I considered writing letters to all the amazing and compassionate people who taught me so much and supported me in those first couple of years as I battled fear, sadness and grief. 

I thought about fundraising for the organizations that led me gently into the world of disability and fortified me for the advocacy and planning and patience required to be Oscar's mom.

I envisioned a huge party at which I publicly and tearfully thanked every person we've encountered on this journey, from our very first home visitor to the boy in O's class who yesterday came up with a new nickname for him, "Oscar the Awesome".

I thought about hiking to the top of Mt. Tamalpais and screaming in celebration that Oscar thrived and that I survived.

Most likely today will be just like any other day. I haven't arranged to do any of these things but I am giving myself permission to make this an entire year of acknowledgment and celebration. 

I feel compelled to mark the end of this decade, I think, because I am keenly aware of how far we've come, and also that our journey continues. Oscar will always have Prader-Willi syndrome and it will always be our job to keep him safe and to help him develop into the happy, confident, earnest person with lots of ideas and goals that he is already clearly becoming.  It's daunting, honestly, and while ten years ago today I was gripped with fear over the prospect of raising a child with a disability, today I am full of hope. 

Oscar, you taught me so much about hope!

3 hours

6 days
3 months

7 months
9 months
One and a half
Two and a half
Four and a half

I love you Oscar!


  1. I don't know why, but this post just brought me to tears. He is so beautiful, and so are you. Happy Birthday, Oscar and happy birth-day to you, Mary. Many blessings onward --

  2. Oh this made me weepy! Beautiful, Mary! The pictorial story celebrates so much. Oscar is beautiful!

  3. Happy Birthday, Oscar! That boy is going to break some girl's heart one day (well, I hope not, but you know what I mean) - he is so adorable!

  4. I'm weepy too! What a handsome guy. He looks so healthy and happy.

  5. Wow, what a lovely celebration of Oscar and your road these past 10 years. Happy Birthday to Oscar, and Happy Birthing Day to you...

  6. He has changed from the cutest little baby to such a handsome boy! Happy 10th to you both! You are so inspiring to us!!

  7. What a handsome young man. What a lovely visual of the 10 beautiful years. Thank you Mary and Happy tenth birthday to Oscar!

  8. He's gorrrrrgeous!!! What a handsome kid Mary! And what a beautiful post. I shall be forever grateful for the time that I got to spend learning hope and joy from Oscar!! Happy belated birthday Oscar!


  9. Mary,

    Wow, I love this post! It is so beautiful and also brought me to tears! You and your family are amazing on so many levels! I love having you as part of our life!