Dar is getting seriously tall! I mean, you know that thing where people put pencil marks on a doorway to mark their kids’ height every year? Yeah, we do that too. As you can see by looking at his doorway, Dar’s jump from 8 to 9 was a bigger gap than any of his other gaps. That’s crazy. Are we over-feeding him? He’s as skinny as Olive Oyl. I guess he has my metabolism. I wish he’d metabolize a little of it over to his brother, but whatever.

Last year, around this time, I blogged something about how I question continuing to give Dar birthday parties, seeing how he doesn’t care and often winds up screaming at people. This year, I did something about that. I combined Dar’s birthday party with his grandfather’s birthday party. And…uh…

It turns out that Dar and his grandpa have something in common: they’re not exactly terrific at parties. Neither has any problem letting you know that they’d rather be doing something else. Anything else. One difference is that my father can speak. For example, one of our beloved guests reported that my dad said loudly to no one, “Well, this is boring!” just before he walked himself back into his in-law unit.

In fairness to my dad, I couldn’t manage to wrangle any of his friends to attend the party. If one of them had been there…maybe Dad would have actually shown some interest in someone.

I have a similar problem with Dar. I’m not saying his disinterest in people is genetic, although I’m not not saying it either. In his case, one friend came. Who is another severely autistic kid. I mean, these two don’t know that they’re friends, but hey, still counts.

It’s not exactly easy to be Dar’s friend. Seeing as the leaves are changing and it’s a new school year, I wasn’t surprised to be introduced to a new “Dar’s best friend” at school. She seems nice and sweet and sincere enough. She is probably great with younger siblings/cousins and will probably make an awesome mom someday. And she’ll also likely be done with Dar by this time next year. I’ve seen em come and I’ve seen em go. I know what you’re thinking: “well, with that attitude, who can blame them?” I used to be more into it. In the old days, I would have extended a birthday party invitation. But this year – also considering I only met this person a few days before Dar’s party – I defaulted to easier.

So, who was at the party, you might ask? The parents of Dar’s autistic pal, who also happen to be two of my best friends. Also, the man who married me. Dar’s brother’s friend and her father. (We let Dar’s brother invite a friend. Next year, maybe he should invite all of his friends?) For sure, we were thrilled to see Dar’s adoptive grandma and grandpa. Who are more generous than my father, particularly with their interest in Dar and us.

It’s funny, we have no problem filling the house for the Oscar party. I guess I could invite more of those guests to Dar’s party. But…it doesn’t feel right. I don’t know why. If you would like an invitation to Dar’s next party, feel free to DM me. Now that I’ve made it sound like New Year’s Eve in Times Square!

But maybe…I need to look more at the man in the mirror. More than I already do as a regular blogger? Yes! Maybe I’m just not accepting what I should be accepting. Maybe I don’t want Dar to grow any taller because I still haven’t really accepted the way he’s grown, or not grown, so far. Maybe I dread his birthdays and that bleeds into the party prep.

Do any parents of neurotypical kids dread their kids’ birthdays? If so, I would think it would be because they don’t want to lose them. They want them to stay their darling child and not grow up.

I want Dar to becomemy darling child, I want him togrow up. So what’s really going on here?

I think I’m in a little bit of an existential quandary that won’t get resolved in a neat and tidy way for a blog post. I don’t know that I can tie this one up with a ribbon. I don’t think I’m sending this link to facebook. I’m leaving this particular mess the way I found it.

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