Had Sam not been ill, we had planned on taking him with to the party as he adores being around children but luckily enough for him, we made it home a good hour before all the children were to be collected...and boy did Sam have an absolute ball with such an awesome audience....
At first you can't spot the little smurf....
But there he is....instructing everyone in a game of "Copy Sam" which game is derived from a Teletubbies episode (can't believe I used to complain about Barney) where a little girl leads a group of kids in Copy Me! Sam LOVES this game and insists on all-round participation, regardless of where we might be....a doctor's room, hospital, therapy session...if he can see you, you better copy Sam :)
And, of course, there had to be some twisty-flappy movements involved.
Group photo - with the exception of the Birthday Girl who was outside delivering an extremely believable rendition of "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to!" This year was definitely D.E.F.I.N.I.T.E.L.Y the last birthday-party year!!
I adore Meg's group of friends though - they all are really wonderful with Sam. When children reach the age of ten/eleven, that's quite often the age around which compassion, consideration and respect for others either flourishes or becomes obvious in its absence. Meg's friends will ask genuinely inquisitive questions about Sam's development (like why he doesn't walk, etc) but I have never heard any of them uttering an unkind word about Sam's behaviour, appearance, etc. or anything else. I had an unusually large audience when changing Sam's dirty nappy on Saturday afternoon and Sam was offered many words of sympathy when his "battle scars" were noticed.
I think it's really important for siblings of special needs kids to know that their brother/sister is accepted by their friends. It must surely play a huge role in their own acceptance of their sibling...I would be devastated if Meghan was faced with a situation where she was ashamed to bring friends home because of Sam, or afraid of what reaction her friends might have to him. I know its still very early days but, thankfully, so far so good!
A very rare, almost-complete (with the exception of Luke) family pic!