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Twenty One

So the reality that Jimmy is now 21 years old and I ask myself where did the years go? They went way too fast but anyway this is what we did for him, though he may not of understood how old he really is, I know he definitely enjoyed his celebrations.

On Friday the 8th of April, I called my friend Jaimie to have a morning chat, and we decided to take the kids to Wet N Wild the next day. I couldn’t really afford it, but when it comes to living my life and having fun I have this attitude where I say “fuckit.” Experience life to its fullest and everything else will fall into place. Jaimie also offered to drive and pay for fuel as part of a present for Jimmy.

The Friday night before Wet n Wild, Jimmy and I had the worst sleep. He was up all night upset and constantly wanting a drink. I thought maybe he was getting sick. On the Saturday morning he was still a little upset, but I know him and once he has a good feed and his meds kick in he’s usually good. Unfortunately, Jaimie’s son wasn’t well enough to come, so her partner Andre offered to have him so we could still go.

The whole drive down, Jimmy still wasn’t himself. I was a little worried because I wanted him to have a good day. In the end I realized like anyone, Jimmy has grumpy days and everything annoys him.

Once we arrived we went straight to Calypso beach. I shared a tube with him, and we went around twice. Jimmy loved it laugh and giggled, probably at Jaimie & I because we were laughing so much. Next ride was Mammoth Falls, holy hell he did not know what was going! His facial expressions were hilarious. We couldn’t help but laugh, while trying to make him feel safe. Imagine being carried a flight of stairs, then you feel water, then you’re sitting in something you’ve never seen to be thrown around going down a slide. Now we all know what a slide looks like and what maybe to expect – Jimmy had no idea. When we got to the bottom you could tell he was relieved but also excited/scared/happy. He yelled out ‘YAY’ and we high fived everyone, even the lifeguard asked for a high five. We went back on the ride 3 times, and by the last time I think he knew what to expect but was still a little unsure.

Next Ride – Mac 5. That was just as full on for Jimmy, if not more as he had to sit in front, with Jaimie at the back and I was in the middle. I was a little nervous about this one, but we made it down with so much laughter, and Jimmy was more than likely freaking out but I couldn’t see his face. We only did this one once as we had to carry the tube up the stairs, while I was piggybacking Jimmy up. I give credit to all the staff at Wet N wild as they were so helpful, and allowing and trusting that I know which rides I could take Jimmy on. So many high fives all day, and smiles from a lot of people. Because Luca, Jamie’s son was unwell, he couldn’t be with us. So we’ve decided to go again soon. I could tell she wished for him to be there with us enjoying the day. Next time will be even better as we know what to expect. That night we both had the best sleep, ever……

On the day of Jimmy’s Birthday (11th of April), he woke up with the biggest smile as he does most mornings, and I sang him the happy birthday song – which he joined in with me. I took him to Mooloolaba spit, where we just laid in the sun, listening to music. It was a very chilled day. For me it was also a very emotional day, I cried with happy tears as well as sad. I remembered those feelings when I found out Jimmy was blind, and realised just how different my life is to another parent with a 21 year old. In saying this, while I was upset, Jimmy just gave me a huge cuddle and I knew everything would be all right. He knows what’s up.

On the 23rd of April, we had Jimmy’s party at the Riverside Bar & Restaurant / Level 2 in Maroochydore. I had Tim from Mix FM ask them if I could hold it there, and WOW I did not expect what they had done for us. Ben from Riverside organized for the whole level 2 to be a private area for us. He was amazing and I can’t thank him enough. We also had other friends to thank: DJ Sean Bannister on the decks, Sam made a cake, and the chefs for the brilliant Canapes that were supplied. The food there is amazing – just saying.

The week leading up to his party, I started to panic, wondering would anyone actually come? I was so worried, in the end I couldn’t believe the turnout of all of our friends and family who came to wish Jimmy a happy 21st, and seeing all the boys in their bow ties. The best part of the night was when everyone sang Happy Birthday, and Jimmy clapped along with everyone. His smile was from one ear to the other. About 9.30pm we headed downstairs to the main area where all the bouncers were awesome to make sure we were always safe and that Jimmy was ok. Jimmy just sat in his chair grooving along to the music, and every now and then he would raise his hands and start singing along.

We finally left about midnight, and Jimmy went straight to sleep when we arrived home. Safe to say Jimmy’s first nightclub experience was a success, because when he woke in the morning he was still smiling. It was a night we will never forget.

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