Celebrating Elizabeth’s 26th Birthday: Embracing Uniqueness and Joy

Happy 26th Birthday to Elizabeth

It was a good day for her, well 4 good days for her. Everyone who works with her in life has had their
“Birthday” time with her.

So this is why the 4 days.

I will say that Elizabeth LOVES her birthday. From the lead up to her day where she greets everyone with a countdown of how long it is to her “special day” to the dinner pick for her birthday (Because in our house the birthday person gets to pick their favorite dinner to pick up.) to the gentle and not so gentle reminders to pick up her cake and put up her signs.

And then the day arrives and she is happy and excited in the morning…

And as the day continues on, she is like a little battery toy running out of charge.

You can feel her energy ebbing and her overload growing.

So much so that by the end of the last present and bite of cake, typically at around 7 pm, she says her usual “I am tired, I think I need a break.”



Without fail.

In fact, we are so used to her pattern, that her sister, Emily, who lives in Colorado, called to talk to her and it was about 5:30. Elizabeth said “No thank you, not now Emily” to her. I, of course, felt bad and as I was about to point out to Elizabeth that she should talk. Emily said “Is she on birthday overload yet?”

And this got me thinking about that. Well, first I smiled, then I thought.

Isn’t it interesting that our beautiful children with special needs simply are so unique. I mean I know that we are all unique but the very ESSENCE of who they are is really something that is truly theirs.

I mean we can talk with Elizabeth about the party day as we have done many years prior and what we would like her to do, asking her to maybe hang in longer and she will still handle the days leading up to her birthday and the actual birthday day in the same way that she did this year.

One thing that I love about Elizabeth is that she is simply who she is.

She steps over drama.

She is kind, truly and deeply kind.

She would never set out to hurt anyone.

And she loves completely.

With her whole heart.

And she loves to be loved.

And she has taught us so much about life, each day really.

These are the gifts of Elizabeth.

So we celebrate this young adult who has come so far in her life and who does things “her way” but “her way” really is quite a nice way to go about life.

So as she headed upstairs, loaded with gifts to “take her break” We all smiled and knew just what was happening.

Because we have had the distinct gift and honor to know her, love her and have her in our lives.

I hope you get the chance to celebrate the gifts of your special child.

I wish everyone a good month.

Michele Gianetti author of Elizabeth Believes in Herself

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