Sunday, June 10, 2018

Almost EIght?!?!

Then and Now

Aaron is almost eight!  Almost!!!  It's taken a long time to get to "almost."

Eight is a big deal to us.  In our religion, it's a REALLY big deal. 

First day of life.
First birthday, tried to sleep through it.


In our church, the Mormon Church, turning eight is an important milestone, a eternally significant milestone.  We don't baptize our babies because we feel they are innocent. Eight is the age of accountability, when they start taking responsibility to repent when they do something wrong.  Until then, they get a "free pass" so to speak.  It would be similar in importance to a Bar Mitzvah for a Jewish boy, or a First Communion for a Catholic child.

Four! Almost didn't happen. Bad asthma attack the night
before dropped his sats to 43%, had to call 911

Now Aaron is a little different.  He still and always will operate on a much lower developmental status, and he won't be baptized.  And that's okay.

It's kinda like when a kid breaks a neighbor's big glass window.  There's no way he can replace that.  He's not capable of it.  So his parents do it for him.  Christ's atonement takes the responsibility for the mistakes a child under eight makes, and also those who don't develop the ability to do so themselves.  But hence the notice and the excitement of his upcoming birthday.

Last December, a friend approached me all excited.  Aaron was almost eight!  How did that happen??

Um, except when she said that, a cold fist gripped my heart.  I know she meant well, and from her perspective, he was "almost eight."  For a kiddo who wasn't supposed to turn one, six months from eight is pretty neat.

But this is Aaron.  And he's fragile.  And he was still six months from eight with a nasty cold and flu season between him and that birthday.  And it terrified me.  Plus, last year on Aaron's birthday, Braeden (T18) died just two months before his eighth birthday.  Georgia (hydrocephalus/anencephaly) died one week after her ninth.  Chloe (T18) just passed a few weeks before her ninth.  Stacy (T18) died a week before her 37th.  And that's just a few of the children. 

It's reality.  I'm surrounded by death in my "new (almost eight years old) world."

So back to "eight."  It took until just a few weeks ago before I decided that Aaron could be "almost eight."  I figured at seven and 11 months, maybe it was time.  And then he pulled the stunts that got him out of school for the final two weeks.  Um, yeah, nasty thoughts...

Seven and so smiley!

But this week, this week!, this week Aaron turns EIGHT!  NOW, he can be "almost eight," 'cause if it doesn't happen now, he's going to be eight without being "almost eight."  (Yeah, I'm weird.  You knew that.)

Like I said above, he won't be baptized.  There won't be pictures of him in white in front of a baptismal font.  There won't be a new suit (he'd hate it anyway), or scriptures (he can't read).  But still, he's turning eight.  And eight years ago, I didn't know if he would even live.

And Almost Eight!

So please, come help us celebrate.  We're gathering from six to eight on Saturday, June 16th for cake and light refreshments.  Come wish him "Happy Birthday!"  Leave me a note on how he's influenced your life.  Send me a message if you need the address.  Help us make this birthday special, even if he's not traveling the road most children do.  Come celebrate our bug. 

"The first fact about the celebration of birthdays is that it is a good way of affirming defiantly, and even flamboyantly, that it is a good thing to be alive."
~G.K. Chesterton