Another month of birthdays has come and gone (see R turn 6 here!) and I still can’t believe how old these kids are getting! M turned 9, shortly followed by J who turned 10. 10 years old, you guys! And still waiting for a forever family. How in the world did even happen?!
Continuing the trend of ditching the whole party thing and celebrating with a special outing instead, we took M swimming at our favorite pool. We decided to bring a friend along, Wilson’s nephew SonSon. Whenever SonSon visits, he and M have a ball together, chasing each other around or SonSon pushing him in circles in his wheelchair, so we thought they’d have fun together in the pool. And they sure did! One of the great things about this pool is the large areas where it’s only a few inches deep throughout the parts that are about 4 feet deep. So I can stand in the deep water, right next to M who is sitting in super shallow water that’s perfect for splashing and scooting around. Don’t be fooled by the one picture of M relaxing in the floaty thing. That lasted about 5 seconds and then it was back to the fun and games. I always love the times we can get M away from all the nannies and kids, because he’s always much better behaved when he doesn’t have 11 other people competing for attention. Understandable! But he’s really a fun kid to hang out with this enormous amount of potential that I feel like we’re barely scratching the surface of.
And then we have J, who will be the oldest kid at COTP once L goes home with his forever family. We had gone to the pool with J last year so we decided to ride horses with him this time around. Some kids get scared their first time around large animals, but J was all smiles right from the start when we helped him pet the horse. Now, when we’ve taken other kids riding, Wilson and I switch off who is holding them, but J is getting so tall that I just couldn’t balance both him and myself on those horses. Wilson can do anything, of course, so he kept Josh and still guided his horse way better than I did. Josh periodically arches his whole body, pushing his hips against the seatbelt of his wheelchair and stiffening everything up. However, he spent at least an hour on the horse with Wilson totally relaxed, not tensing up once. We took some paths through the fields down the road from COTP that none of us had been on before and ended up pretty lost, so eventually we just turned around and went back the way we had come. You can see that part of the time, there’s a faint path to follow, and then at one point we just found ourselves in the middle of a random field. If the bruise on my rear wasn’t growing with every passing minute and my fair Dutch skin wasn’t threatening to burn, I wouldn’t have minded wandering through those fields for hours with Wilson and J. But, we headed back to the house where J enjoyed a cupcake we had bought from a restaurant the night before. We’ve eaten there several times but this was the first time they pounced on us immediately after finishing our dinner to ask us if we wanted to buy dessert. After 5 “no’s”, she kept insisting we buy a “Haiti cake”, so we did, neither of us knowing what that actually was. Turns out it was a red and blue cupcake that we are pretty sure was leftover from Haitian Flag Day that week, and apparently they really wanted to offload them. But J enjoyed the frosting and I didn’t have to bake a cake, so it all worked out in the end.