Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Clay

Today Clay is 7.  To celebrate his birthday we are going duckpin bowling with a few friends of his.  Our family did a test run last weekend to prepare him, since every new situation is challenging for him without his sight.  By the end of the game he was throwing the ball down the lane, but at first he refused to bowl.  Bowling, especially duckpin, is a good activity because of the audio feedback--he can hear the pins go down.  For his school class treat today he requested cookies from a nearby French bakery, and tonight we are going to dinner at a Mediterranean cafe that is his new favorite.  His taste buds, along with his hearing, are working extra hard these days. 

Both Grace and Clay are going to Sunday school each week at our church where they have wonderful teachers. Clay's teacher has her 6th grade son come in each week to be Clay's buddy, which makes him look forward to class.   In preparation for Christmas they were asked to write letters to Jesus, and I was touched by the beautiful simplicity of Grace's:

Dear Jesus,
Thank you for... my parents, my brother Clay, my grandmas, my cousins, my uncles, my aunts, Katie, enough food to eat, Abby, good books, ice skating, clothes, my dog Pearl, Laser tag, softball, animals, Christmas, God, Thanksgiving, and my Birthday. 
 Love, Grace
What touched me about Grace's letter is that she included mostly people and activities, not things (not even her  It reminded me of the book by Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Here is a bit of his poem:

Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Live a balanced life -
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
And play and work everyday some.
Take a nap every afternoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
Hold hands and stick together.
Be aware of wonder.

So to Clay, my beautiful, kind, amazing boy, who has already taught us more of these lessons than a lifetime ever could, Happy Birthday. 


  1. Happy Birthday Clay! Hope you enjoyed your big day and beat your Dad at bowling! Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    Chris Hogan

  2. Thank you, Clay, for sharing your birthday with us. It was a fun day made special by hearing your laughter and seeing your smile.
    Alicia and Patrick

  3. Happy Birthday Clay! We love you. Know that you are always in our good thoughts and prayers. I hope you are enjoying the holidays with your family. Xoxo
    Thank you Mary and JD for every post you write.
    Kisses for Grace and Pearl ;)
    Vivi and Alicinha