IN honor of Spence's 20th birthday today, here's a glimpse of his birthday through the years!
20-years ago today (1995):
I was in the middle of suffering through what would prove to be 36-hours of labor. Finally at 8:53pm, after over 1/2 hour of pushing, our little Spencer David was born and I became a mother. He weighed in at 8-lb. 6-oz. and, although the doctors made fun of his cone-shaped head, we were enraptured from day one. We would do practically anything to elicit one of his light-up-the-room smiles and I did my best to never set him down.
We were THOSE parents. You know the annoying ones that invite 20 people over and force everyone to watch your precious one-year-old baby eat a cake and open a gazillion presents that he couldn't have cared less about. Spence was as good a sport as a one-year-old could be, but it wasn't long before the hordes of relatives cheering every time he ripped the wrapping paper got to him and he was in tears. On the other hand though, the cute Winnie-the-Pooh cake my Aunt Zina made for him was adorable and did make for some cute pictures!
I was 32-weeks pregnant with Cami and we had barely made an across the country move from BYU to our apartment just outside Baltimore for Glen's first job. He had only graduated a couple of days before, but since the health insurance started on the first day of the month after he started working, we were bound and determined that he start working in April, so our insurance would start on May 1st. It was a whirlwind move and Spencer's 2nd birthday got lost in the shuffle, but I do remember that the apartment manager gave him a balloon since it was his birthday, so at least there's that.
We were living in Baltimore. Spence had just had strep throat and was taking antibiotics for it. On the morning of his third birthday, he woke up covered head to toe in hives. He was allergic to penicillin....the first of many medications he'd later prove to be allergic to. I remember that we went on some kind of field trip with friends that day, who all asked worriedly why he was so puffy and red. We reassured them that he was not contagious and felt fine. In fact, he was more than happy to have the double attention of it being his birthday and being rashy!
What more can you ask for a boy's fourth birthday party, than to have a bush across the street start on fire and have the firetrucks come to put it out? It was the best birthday party entertainment ever and I have a vivid memory of all his friends leaving the games we'd planned and lining up at our front window to watch all the action. Since no further damage to property happened, in the end we were kind of grateful to the schmuck who threw his cigarette into the bush and created a dream party for a our four-year-old!
We were living in Virginia now and I was just finishing the first trimester of my pregnancy with Emma. I have no specific memory of a party, but I'm sure that he invited the friends from his co-op preschool.
With three kids now, my memory starts getting a little fuzzy. We were house hunting at the time and I don't specifically remember celebrating his 6th birthday, but his friends James and John Lee most likely were a part of it. They were three peas in a pod and I'm pretty sure that Spence would have happily volunteered to be their triplet if given the chance. We put an offer in on the house we currently live in just a couple weeks later.
Now I was pregnant with Adam and have almost no memories of this time. He was at a new school, but still good friends with James and John.
His 8th birthday was a shared birthday party with his friend John Joseph, who was in his church and school classes. Their birthdays are only a couple days apart and it worked well to combine them. We went to Eakin Park and sailed boats in the little stream there. It was low stress and very fun to have someone to share the work with. A couple weeks later they were baptized on the same day!
This was a time of transition for Spencer. His third grade year had been pretty hard because of a horrible teacher and all of his friends had moved away. Eventually his friend Danny moved in, but it was a hard time for him and I don't remember much about his 9th birthday at all.
I had just had Ellie a couple weeks before and probably threw a very low-key family party for Spence's 10th birthday. I think his best friend was still Danny, but he was moving away soon, so once again he was in-between friends for a while.
This is when everything becomes a total blur. At some point in here birthday celebrations all got super low-key. Annual birthday parties with friends were long gone by then and the kids were lucky to get a couple of presents and a cake sometime during the week of their birthday! I'm sure he hung out with Ryan, his best bud all the way through high school.
In a familiar vein, I don't actually remember his 12th birthday, but according to the blog it was a good day! I made him Cafe Rio taco salad and he got a bike and an iPod. Thank you blog for helping me out here!
Spence is a teenager!
I was homeschooling Spencer when he turned 14-years-old. It was his 8th grade year and I'm thinking that I took him rock climbing for this birthday, since that was his big obsession that year!
He was in high school now and probably had Ryan over.
Glen took Spence and a couple of friends (Nick and James) to a college lacrosse tournament at the Baltimore Ravens stadium for his 16th birthday.
We had put out the call for people to flood Spencer with greetings for his 17th birthday and flood us they did! Our mailbox was full every day leading up to his birthday and we were completely humbled at the kindness that people poured out upon him while he was sick! The timing ended up perfect and he was actually home from the hospital on his birthday! He had a ton of visitors that day and when he went back to the hospital for his last round of chemo the next morning, it was with a sense of hope and excitement that cancer would soon all be a distant memory.
This was a hard time for us. Spence had senioritis in a bad way, was in the process of making some big decisions, and we were all very stressed. I remember taking him somewhere nice to celebrate his birthday, but I don't have good memories of this time period in the slightest.
Since he was still in Harrisonburg getting ready for finals, his 19th birthday was pretty anticlimactic. We celebrated when he got home in a week-and-a-half or so.
Once again he is getting ready for finals! We are going to try and visit him this weekend to replenish his fridge and take him out. It's hard to believe my baby is no longer a teenager!
Happy 20th birthday Spence!
And for you viewing enjoyment, here are some pics of Spencer from over the years: