This little boy is celebrating his 5th Birthday today! 5 years ago today, Augustine Daniel Miller (Gus), entered this world just before midnight. Born on what would have been his great grandfather’s 98th birthday (my grandfather only lived to 96!), we went with Daniel as a middle name in honor of my grandfather. Gus arrived after a very short labor, and he was enormous! When they put him on the scale, it read 10. 13. My husband asked, “is that the time?” I’ll never forget the look on the midwife’s face as she said, “no, that is your baby’s birth weight.” No stranger to large newborns, even I was shocked by his size. He looked like a prize fighter who had won his first fight. He had scratches, red in the whites of his eyes, and a broken collar bone. Poor baby!
Born a fighter, Gus had a rough go of it for the first few years of his life. He battled gastrointestinal issues, blood sugar troubles, hospitalizations, a sensory processing disorder, feeding troubles, and multiple surgeries. At a low point, just after his 3rd birthday, he was diagnosed as failure to thrive and hospitalized. Only a few short months later, his health was much improved, and we haven’t looked back since!
Gus is now a very normal weight, has age appropriate skills in almost every area, and is beginning to read CVC words! His development is so improved, in fact, that he no longer qualifies for any special services in our school district, and we are going to give homeschooling a shot next year. Gus is creative, smart, funny, sweet, and has a great head of hair.
I share all of his history because 5 is a big milestone in our house, and perhaps an even bigger one for Gus. When you are 5, you get a birthday party at a special place outside of our home. We expect kids who are 5 to be big, and do big kid things like tie their shoes, do real schoolwork, and pay attention at Mass. You get rewarded with big kid perks like chewing gum, special big kid outings, and plugging things into outlets. There was a time when it was hard to imagine where we would be with Gus when he turned 5. And today, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for his life, and how far he has come!
What am I cooking for dinner tonight? Nothing! We are taking the kids, their cousins, and 4 kids from Gus’ class to a local 50’s style ice cream shop. Gus will have his pick of Gluten Free good and a make your own ice cream sundae bar.
What are my prayers intentions for the day? For every family with a sick or special needs child.
What does Gus like to do instead of watching TV? Read books, play anything with his big brother Charlie, dress up as a Fireman, Jedi Knight, or any other hero.
What does Gus like to read? Curious George and Who’s Got the Apple
How does Gus make my life easier? A true ladies’ man, all he needs to do is smile and he seems to light up any woman’s day.
How does Gus challenge me? He is quirky, acting and learning differently than my other children. I have to be more sensitive, more patient, and softer with Gus. He thrives when I give him that extra time and attention, but I am not always as attentive or patient as I should be.
What am I getting him for his Birthday? A party outside the house. We only do this when our kids turn 5, and our gift is the party. I’m sure he will get many other gifts from his Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and friends. And I know he will love them all!