This post is a little different than my usual. Today would have been my eldest son’s 18th birthday. Unfortunately, due to severe congenital heart defects, Ian only got to spend 7 birthdays with us here on earth and now he is celebrating in Heaven.
I made a conscious decision that when my kids were born (an easy decision when you have a sick child) that we weren’t going to give them birthday gifts. We were going to take birthday trips. Just weekend getaways but it was family time vs. things. Grandparents and aunts took care of giving a few little gifts and somehow the kids still ended up having plenty of toys. The kids never seemed to question why we didn’t load them up with presents because that isn’t something they ever experienced. Instead they got to experience mini-vacations at Myrtle Beach, Smoky Mountains, Orlando, Washington, DC and other places. Our big vacations didn’t come until the kids were older and then we incorporated special “excursions” as Christmas gifts.
In the spring of 2005, Ian and Sean wanted to ride on Thomas the Tank Engine. We found out that the train was going to be in Medina, NY a couple of days after Ian’s 7th birthday. It turns out that was Ian’s last birthday. I cannot begin to tell you how thankful I am that we gave Ian the gift of time instead of a toy.
Memories are what stand the test of time. Unlike toys, memories don’t get broken …or cause you to twist an ankle when you step on them in the middle of the playroom. Shared memories create great family stories. Don’t miss the opportunity to share life with your family.