So here we are, Joshua’s 18th birthday, the day that we have been waiting for and planning around. Today Joshua becomes an adult in the eyes of the law and according to both the NHS and the local authority. According to his date of birth, he can now legally drink alcohol in a pub and vote, even though I am still dressing and changing him. This day 18 years ago, changed our lives immeasurably, more than anyone could have predicted. When I was pregnant with ” Bean”, Joshua was not the outcome that I had envisaged for our family; but as well as worry, frustration and fear, Joshua has brought immense love, pride and fun to our home. We have celebrated every success and achievement with him and have been awestruck by his outlook on life : he takes everything in his stride,with a smile on his face, even though he has suffered so much over the years. He has smiled and hugged his way through adversity, seizures and surgery and never appears to feel sorry for himself or feel down, as so many of us do.
Joshua’s smile and twinkling eyes can brighten up a room and nobody can resist his charm. Although he is in school all day today, I am hoping that they will make a big fuss of him so that the day feels special. Just so that I can spend more time with him today, I have decided to take him and his cakes with his photograph on, into school and to collect him to bring him home too. I have bought him a birthday card with a badge on it, so that even people who did not realise that it was his birthday, will be able to make a fuss of him as he loves to be the centre of attention – in fact, often he insists on it!
Today is a day to celebrate, not to reflect on ‘what ifs’, and to remember just how far he has come from that skinny, 6lb 3 oz baby in special care to the tall, handsome young man that he is today. So Happy Birthday Joshua Fred, enjoy your special day xx