15 years ago today, at 5.57, our lives changed forever when Joshua Fred was born and made a rather dramatic entrance into the world. He had waited two weeks after his due date and even then had to be encouraged out into the world, but he was well worth the wait. We called him our ‘skinny rabbit’ as he was so long and thin as a newborn. Sadly he was whisked away to Special Care immediately as he began fitting and there, he was hooked up to monitors and oxygen, as he kept forgetting to breathe. So he made his presence felt immediately and gave us, his parents, quite a few sleepless nights – good training for the future you might say!
Joshua arrived on his Grandpa’s 64th birthday and so they enjoyed many happy shared birthday parties over the years either at our house or theirs, so today we are re-creating one of those tea parties at Grandpa’s house. Their most memorable shared birthday celebration was a trip to London’s West End to enjoy Lion King, one of Joshua’s favourite films. It was quite a struggle getting them both out of Covent Graden tube station and so we missed the famous opening scene that everyone raves about! Within 15 minutes of the start of the show, both birthday boys were fast asleep!
For Joshua’s first birthday he was in Las Vegas : We had been invited there for my best friend’s wedding, where I was honoured to be bridesmaid. After the wedding we stayed for an incredible holiday with our baby, who struggled with the jet lag I recall. For his third birthday we were in Florida with his Grandparents and Aunt : during the day we visited a Farm and at night, we all enjoyed an Elvis tribute act, where Joshua danced in the aisles. For Joshua’s 7th birthday, we had a party in the local scout hut as a farewell to his entire class at mainstream primary school as Joshua was about to leave to go to his first Special School
Less exciting, but more memorable, on his 13th birthday Joshua woke up in Great Ormond Street hospital having had brain surgery the day before. We had never guessed that the nursing staff would be so kind as to provide a sticky chocolate cake, let alone that Joshua would be well enough to sit up in bed and enjoy a slice of it. I then shared the rest with the ward and it was a great way of meeting people – long ago I realised that cake makes people happy and so, it is a real gift to be able to bake and then share.
I tend to look backwards and reflect on Joshua’s birthday, but today I am looking forwards but who knows what his future will bring. I am amazed by all that he achieves everyday and he makes me burst with pride : Happy 15th Birthday Joshua Fred!