I have never seen a kid Harper's age anticipate their birthday with this degree of commitment. On our cross-country road trip this summer, Harper woke up many mornings in the tent (way too early and completely dilirious) saying "m-m-m-my bertday deptember deventeenth." He would studder through that phrase most mornings, probably around 5am, I would confirm that that was, in fact, his birthdate and he would fall right back to sleep.
I was afraid his birthday would be pretty anti-climactic since we don't really go bananas with the kids' birthday. (Ok, one year we went a little bananas because Marlie wanted the theme of her party to be aliens and strawberry shortcake. That party got a little bananas because so many people came - just out of curiosity really.)
But, I didn't have any bananas planned for Harper, and I was nervous because he has literally been dreaming about his birthday for months, and the sheer excitement of it all was waking him at 5 in the morning on most days.
I stopped worrying about his disappointment when my friend Lexi said that for his birthday we could take him flying in a little airplane. Apparently she knows a guy...
So, we are on our way right now to take Harper (and the girls) up in a plane. Maybe this is what he was dreaming about all those mornings in the tent... Or maybe it was something else. Either way, I'm pretty sure there is no disappointment involved.
Sometimes, when we are tucking Harper in at night, we read a book to him called "We Wanted You" and he has every line memorized. The book talks about being adopted, and how we waited for him, how we anticipated his arrival, much in the same way he waited in excitement for his birthday to finally arrive. One of my favorite lines in that book comes to mind as we drive out to take him for his very first flight in an airplane. It says...
"And so we came, we flew! Because that's how much we wanted you."