June 21, 2011

18 ...... a new era?

For the last 13 years Alex has requested a big birthday party. She loves all the presents, hoopla and attention. Courtney and Tom outgrew this birthday extravaganza appeal when they were about 13, Alex did not. Frankly, I had expected Alex’s demand for these gala events to last until she was at least 25. I am happy to say I was wrong.

Alex’s birthday was on Father’s Day. It was also the day of the Strawberry Days benefit runs. For those of you who do not live in small towns, google Glenwood Springs and Strawberry Days. It is an example of Americana and an entire community supporting each other, a taste of what small towns are all about. This means June 19th was not all about Alex it was about John and Strawberry Days too. I had expected an Alex temper tantrum about being ignored. I am happy to say I was wrong.

The RFMN, Alex’s Special Olympic team runs each year in the mile run/walk. They also volunteer at one of the watering stations for the longer distance runners. For this honor they are awarded a donation from the local Rotary club. The athletes and the observers love this and most importantly the Roaring Fork Mountain NiƱo’s receive much needed funding.

Alex’s birthday this year was easy:

• 5:45 wake-up to get to Glenwood Springs
• Man the water station from 7:00 – 9:00
• Run(walk, sprint, walk, sprint) the 1 mile from 9:15 – 9:45
       o Get a happy birthday shout out from the race MC
• Cake with Special Olympic Team at 11:00
• Home so Mom could play tennis (yes I was allowed!)
• Relax around the house with NO whining about boredom and being ignored
• Family dinner celebrating Father’s Day and Alex’s 18!

It was a relatively normal day in our family. Alex and I had already gone shopping to get a present for John, and he loved his weed whacker! Alex did not complain she did not get enough presents, and her dad got too many. We had a healthy dinner (Alex has lost 10 pounds so far), were able to have one cake and share celebrations.

I am still pinching myself to make sure Alex does not have a delayed reaction to her lack of a massive birthday party. I almost believe that at 18 Alex has had another jump in maturity and finally realized birthdays are not about presents. Could it be true my extraordinary daughter is acting like a young adult? I really hope so, as over 35 combined years of birthday parties are exhausting.

As with everything with that extra chromosome, only time will tell if we have climbed another mountain. But, as always I am a believer. Maybe next year will be even better……no cake!


  1. I love reading your blogs! Happy Birthday to Alex! 18 is a significant birthday for any of our children whether, DS or not. As a mom, I always have great anxiety about that age. I still have 3 more to reach 18 and it is coming fast!

    That is great that Alex shared her birthday with so many other activities. She is extraordinary!! But no cake next year?? No way! your never to old for a birthday cake!

  2. Happy Birthday, Alex! I'm with you on the birthday parties. I'm having a hard time convincing Cassie she's "too old" for several things, including birthday parties.

    We're off to ranch camp Sunday for the first of three different weeks Cassie will attend this year. Will ya'll be coming down this year?

  3. Hi there....no camp this year. Tell Cassie we will miss her. Hope it is nnot too hot. Gary


Thanks for your note, we love hearing from you!