No birthday sweeter than Simon’s

When you have a large family , it seems someone has a birthday nearly every month of the year. However, April and July are the busiest months for birthdays in my family.

With each of the birthdays, we are happy to have reached another year of life.

It is unbelievable to realize how old my sister and brothers are getting and how fast the years fly by.

Even the grandchildren in our life have grown up quickly. All but three of our grandchildren are now teenagers or older.

Whew, how time flies.

For the past 11 years though, there is one birthday that bears extra rejoicing, as does every milestone reached in this young man’s life.

I am not insinuating that all our grandchildren’s birthdays are not special, but this one has had to fight harder to reach birthdays than any of our others.

The birthday I am referring to belongs to our precious grandson, Simon Andrew Cecil. He will be celebrating his 11th birthday.

His birth on April 18 was met with much trepidation. No one knew what to expect, including the doctors, and most of all his parents.

No one knew just what the next few minutes, hours or days would bring in his little life.

In some ways, this fact has not changed completely even though he has far surpassed our expectations.

He was born with a very rare type of dwarfism. He had so many health issues to be addressed that very few people knew how to deal with him because of the rarity of his condition.

The doctors had to go to the medical books themselves, so his first few years of life were a total wait and see. In many ways, that mentality still has not changed.

He spent five months in a hospital before he got to come home the first time. It was a long five months for his parents but no one had it harder than little Simon.

I wish I could say he now leads a normal life but that will never be able to happen.

His health is still “wait and see,” but it has taken on some sort of normalcy for him and others since those very stressful early years of his life.

His sleeping pattern is still abnormal. He still may awaken his mom and dad from a deep sleep anywhere from 3 to 5 a.m.

Unsure of what he needs at this hour since he does not speak, they can only hope he will go back to sleep quickly.

They can only wonder if this will be a good day or a bad day for Simon. Really, the only thing that causes Simon to have a bad day is if he is sick. He is such a sweet kid otherwise.

I am so proud of my daughter and son-in-law, and how they have embraced what life has given to them. No one makes me prouder than my little Simon, though.

Unless he is really feeling horrible, he reamins happy and makes those around him happy by watching his antics.

I love him dearly.

Simon has learned to answer his momma’s phone — through trial and error I am sure. I often call, and if the phone is near him and she is busy, he will answer by pushing the right button and I can tell he is on the other line. He and I will have a conversation through Simon jargon. I tell him it is nana and I talk to him and he tries to talk to me. It always leaves me with a smile.

It is also fun to watch how independent Simon has become in his own home. He can push himself around in his little wheelchair and go from room to room. He can definitely let you know if something is not to his liking. If it is food, he just tosses it off to the side, usually when you are not looking.

I must also mention the nurses who have loved and taken care of him, and, now that he is in school, how much his teachers are appreciated. They do great with him even though he does not talk or walk. They all need a badge of honor.

His laughter is contagious. His tears can break a heart because they are so rare unless he is in pain or extremely angry.

Like I have said, through the years that I have written about Simon in my column, to know him is to love him. There is no way Simon can not touch your life. All you have to do is get to know him to love him and oh, how his Papa Eric and I do.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.