Happy Birthday Owen!

Today my Owen turned 6 years old.
Six years ago today I was SUPPOSED to be having Thanksgiving dinner at Doug's Aunt & Uncle's house. But instead I went into labour.
And since Owen was 3ish weeks early and it was a holiday weekend all our carefully planned childcare options for Aiden were unavailable. Fortunately it was a Sunday morning and so we drove to the church (where Doug worked) with Aiden and all his stuff and I walked into the church nursery and said ...

"I'm in labour and our potential babysitters are out of town and Doug's parents are hours and hours away and I have to go to the hospital now... can anyone take Aiden?"

An amazing lady who we knew and trusted and already had a passel of kids of her own said "I'll take him!".

So I promptly handed my then 17 month old Aiden over and burst into tears and off we went to the hospital. I'm sure I looked like a complete lunatic but keep in mind I barely EVER left Aiden with anyone. Ever. Talk about stress.

Aiden had significantly more fun that day than I did. He went to a Blue's fest with that fabulous family and danced the day away. To this day I am so grateful for that wonderful lady.

I spent the day in labour and was thankful for a safe place for Aiden and an epidural for me :).
Later that evening my precious Owen arrived, all round and fat and happy and perfect and all was right with the world.
Owen has always been a wonderfully delightful child. He was a happy baby and even happier toddler. He has a smile to light up the room and a laugh that makes you laugh with him.
(Owen telling Grandma about all the snow outside!)

And oh those eyes!! The child has the most amazing eyes I have ever seen. He is wonderfully sensitive and you can see it in those big green eyes of his. He adored his brother from day one and still does to this day. No matter how Aiden treats him Owen still loves him unconditionally. He had some serious hero-worship going on and drove us crazy for awhile because he insisted on copying every.single.thing Aiden did... the good and the bad. But over the past year Owen has really started coming into his own! He is developing his own interests separate from his brother. He has also started fighting back... and now every once in awhile it is Aiden running away.

And oh that stubborn streak of Owen's can just drive us crazy! And he has no "quiet" setting... even Owen's whispers are loud. But his cuteness make up for it... most of the time :).
The transition from youngest child to middle child was extremely hard on Owen. He lost some of his carefree easygoing-ness the day we brought Olivia home. It broke my heart to watch him mourn the loss of a little bit more of our attention. But he adjusted beautifully and tries so hard to be a good big brother.
Olivia adores her big brother "Dowen" even though he HATES being called Dowen and repeatedly tells her "my NAME is OWEN *sigh*".
(Olivia helping to make Owen's cake)

Owen loves to help me and he thrives on praise. Positive reinforcement is definitely the way to go with that boy. He just glows when you compliment him and when you notice the good things he does.

(the cake Aiden decorated- it is supposed to look like camouflage- and the cupcakes Olivia and Grandma decorated)

Owen has had a terribly rough year, moving twice and leaving his best friends behind, changing schools to one where he was almost a full year behind the rest of the kids his age, enduring Aiden's not-so-nice moments... it was an awful lot for a little guy to handle. And Owen has always been so much taller and bigger than other kids his age... people have often assumed that he was older and expected him to be and do things that are too much for him to handle.
(the cake Owen and I decorated- he choose the colours and the licorice road. I attempted to spell his name with smarties but it looks pathetic... but he didn't care. He loved his cake!)

But now Owen has found a new best friend at school and he is catching up academically and he is adjusting to our new home. We are learning together how to help him not take Aiden's outbursts personally. He is learning what it means to have a brother with special needs. He is learning that life really isn't always fair... and oh how I wish I could protect him from EVER having to learn that lesson! But I can't.
My heart absolutely aches with love for this kid. He often gets the short end of the stick... he is the middle child sandwiched between a big brother with Autism/ADHD and a little sister who can win the room with her smile, dimple and curls in 3 seconds flat. Owen is more on the introverted side and his tummy aches with fear sometimes. I've had post partum depression for 4 of his 6 years of life. That is just not fair.
I see myself so much in Owen. We respond so similarly to so many things. I love the hugs and snuggles he gives me and the beautiful pictures he makes me to show how much he loves me. He is an all around fabulous kid and I am so proud of him!
I love you Owen, happy 6th birthday honey!


Connie Walsh said…
What an amazing love letter to your son. He is well and truly blessed to have such a loving mother.
Tanya said…
Tara, he's a very blessed boy to have a mom who loves him like you do, and who understands the unique pressures he is facing at his young age.
Carrie said…
He looks like a sweet little boy! Happy birthday, Owen!
Kristi said…
What a very cool post - you have beautiful children. Hope you don't mind if I borrow the idea on my kid's birthdays! (All of my children were born on Holidays in the states)
Melanie S said…
Thank you for sharing! The beautiful photos and everything you said made me smile (and sniffle a little!).

Happy Birthday little buddy! : )
Debbie F said…
You brought tears to my eyes reading this! I could feel your love for your children coming thru each sentence. You are truly blessed. Thank you for sharing!
Unknown said…
What a beautiful,loving post. Your love shines through and your children are blessed to have you as you are them. Thanks for sharing, this really made my day.
That was beautiful.

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