Stand Under My Umbrella

Six years ago today, also a Wednesday, T, the hubby and I became a forever family.

In many ways, it feels like a lifetime ago when our adoption was finalized in court – and in other ways, I think with awe, “Has it been only six years?!”

So many moments have happened since – joyous highs and crushing lows. But yet, like T, every day is a new day and we keep chugging along.

I love that this anniversary always falls after Valentines Day and before Family Day, because it is symbolic of what love and family mean to me.

Shining Together

This Sunday was Super Bowl Day and I was excited about Rihanna’s halftime show.

The hubby and I loved her music, as it played in the clubs when we started dating in our 20s.

I went on a binge of rediscovering her music last week – hits after hits – and it was fun introducing them to T during our drive to swim class.

After his lessons, we went to a birthday party for the daughter of the hubby’s friend and colleague.

It was the first party T got invited to in the last three years – and it reminded me of the guilt I mildly feel for not having yet done a birthday party for T, with the pandemic partly to blame.

T made a wonderful card for the birthday girl.

The party was hosted at a small art studio for kids, as you can see by the awesome creations below.

We regrettably arrived late and the kids had already started a group painting activity.

We encouraged T to participate, but the combination of arriving mid activity and him not knowing anyone other than the birthday girl made him feel reluctant and shy.

So he stayed outside the room and looked around the Studio. I wasn’t fussed but the hubby felt embarrassed and flustered.

The Studio staff were empathetic and offered to do an activity with T to pour small plastic balls into a deflated balloon to create a hand fidget toy.

Afterwards, the kids gathered to eat pizza. He was still reluctant to join, so we sat and ate outside.

Eventually, T warmed up and went inside – just in time for ice cream cake!

“When the sun shines, we shine together
Told you I’ll be here forever
Said I’ll always be your friend
Took an oath, I’ma stick it out ’til the end
Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella.”

– Rihanna, “Umbrella”

As an adult, I can find social events hard, so I can relate with a kid, FASD or not, navigating a party where he did not know anyone and he arrived late.

So you know what, T did awesome.

I loved when the host asked who wanted more cake and T said out loud, “(Birthday girl) should get a big piece because it’s her birthday.”

T brought Moo Moo with him and Moo Moo got to meet a fellow farm animal at the party! 😊

After the cake, it was piñata time. The kids lined up to each take a turn swinging at Olaf the snowman.

T didn’t want to line up and we could tell he felt anxious.

When the piñata broke and the kids grabbed the candy, T started tearing up. Thankfully, the host parent bundled up a bag and gave it to him.

We stood with T and stayed calm to help him calm down – and eventually he did.

And just like that, the party was over. As we exited the Studio, T pointed out his gift and card to the birthday girl.

The party experience, its ups and downs, sums up how I feel about parenting on this forever family day.

When the sun shines, we shine together. Told T we’ll be here forever. Said we’ll always be his friend. Took an oath, we’re gonna stick it out ’til the end. When it’s raining more than ever. Know that we’ll still have each other. He can stand under our umbrella.

26 thoughts on “Stand Under My Umbrella

  1. Happy Family Day! I love everything about this post Ab. I read the lyrics from Rihanna and thought how nice. After reading your post and again reading the lyrics it brought tears to my eyes. I hope some day T realizes how much he is loved by you both. He is a lucky boy to have you both. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Diane! I hope you are feeling better. And yes, I do love this song. Such a classic of hers. Deep down I know T knows how much he is loved. And we are as lucky to have him as he is to have us! 😊😆

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I would definitely agree that party was a success!!! And kudos to the employees who worked with T so he could participate. Love the song too. So fitting! Have a wonderful week! Sorry it took a while to write back! I have been put of sorts. Getting back though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Rebecca. I’m glad you gave the shoutout to the employees. They really went the extra mile to make him feel included and I’m so thankful for that.

      I’m sorry that you have been out of sorts. I hope everything is ok. Sending my best positive wishes your way. Glad to hear you’re getting back!


  3. What a beautiful post! I was growling before I came here, but I’m leaving with a smile on my face! I do not do well with parties — never have! As a child, I would hide invitations to birthday parties so my parents wouldn’t force me to go! So, I can empathise with T, but I think he did a great job! You three are just such a beautiful family … you make my heart sing! Happy six-year family anniversary!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jill. I think we can all relate to social event anxieties so we empathize with T but glad he was able to have fun regardless. Hope you have a nice long weekend ahead!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It does seem fitting that T’s adoption was finalized around Valentine’s Day and Family Day. What a great picture of you guys! I totally agree about how social events are tough, even for us adults. The fact that T stuck around, even if he didn’t participate in the group painting activity or hitting the pinata, is a huge win. Heck, he even gets points for just showing up (something I probably wouldn’t have done if I didn’t know many people there). There’s nothing like ice cream and cake to bring everyone together!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Linda. I think you said it best and I try to think about how I myself as an adult often feel shy and anxious around social events when I don’t know everyone. When I see it from a child’s perspective, it makes me more empathy for them and so I don’t get too fussed and try to help stay calm instead.

      It’s almost the long weekend. Let’s all hang in there. Hope you have a nice one with K!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love his use of colour! It’s great that you were able to stay calm in this is a reminder how kind and big-hearted T really is. It’s really sweet when he said the birthday girl should get a big piece of the cake

    Liked by 1 person

  6. And the party experience, with its ups and downs, is a reminder how kind and big-hearted T really is. It’s really sweet when he said the birthday girl should get a big piece of the cake. This is such a heartwarming post, Ab.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love his use of colour! It’s great that you were able to stay calm in this situation. By the way, my youngest daughter (the one expecting), used to tell me that things started a half an hour early because I had a bit of a reputation…I think I was a little clueless at the time to the effect it had on her, so good for you for recognizing his emotional state for what it is. Also, you all look very cute!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh my goodness, you have me in tears, Ab! Congratulations on your forever family and the heartfelt commitment you make every day. Also, you look so YOUNG in your court picture.

    The beautiful way that you stood by T as he navigated the birthday party is amazing. I know from your words how lucky you feel to have him — and he’s so lucky to have you with your wit, wisdom, and resilience providing so much cover! Happy Forever Family day! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Wynne. It feels like a lifetime ago but sobering to think it was only 6 years ago. Parenting and the pandemic have definitely aged me. 😆

      I can totally empathize with the hubby for his feeling flustered, which is usually me, so I’m thankful I was able to stay calm indeed. 🙏

      Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG Ab, it took a minute for me to relate the title even once I began reading the lyrics. I needed that laugh, even though it was at my own expense, lol.
    I bet T was excited to get the invite, good for him & of course he wasn’t going to miss the cake & ice-cream. You three a so inspirational!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Tammy. 😊 I can be quite hokey with how I try to work in a song into my post so I don’t blame ya for taking a minute to make the lyrical connection. And such a beautiful song too.

      We are glad T got to participate in a party and look forward to when he can host one next year. 🙏


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