Happy Birthday, Rudy

Inklings of Self-Awareness

Not quite understanding the fuss, he subconsciously detached from the idea that the others were there for him. He nearly forgot that it was his birthday and everyone coming through the double doors at the designated time had spent the morning, or some previous day of that week, thinking about and shopping for things he might like.

Definitely my birthday . . . or a big joke, he thought in bewilderment as he returned smiles not usually meant for him.

He looked down, helping to prep the party table as the end opposite him became a tree of colorfully-wrapped boxes and glitzy gift bags before his eyes. It was all so much! At what point would he have to open these . . . in front of everyone? His mind frantically searched for reasons to open all the presents at home . . .

To what reasonable thing could he resort?

Rudy felt overwhelmed without realizing what was happening to him physiologically. He sensed immense anxiety (but, not understanding, had nowhere to turn to manage that).

Heat rose in his face and an uncertain panic held in his bones. Although he appeared normal on the outside (of this he wasn’t certain), he couldn’t quite get a grip on his insides and sudden grumbling (audible!) indicated a kind of liquefaction happening that he wasn’t sure he’d be able to control the way a boy of first grade should.

But then, he noticed some of the other classmates on a bench by the rink tying their skates, and several more throwing themselves onto the giant, oval wooden floor in wheels. The solid thunk-whoosh of those wheels as they hit the rink thrilled Rudy out of his distracted birthday stupor.

Rudy rushed to the rental counter to take part in his own celebration, with the others.


Print & Tell!


Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash

2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Rudy”

  1. What a perfect channeling of a very young mind overwhelmed in a new situation. I remembered unraveling scenes as a small child. So real and compassionate to give ourselves this time now, as adults, when we need a moment to take things in. Thank you for this thought.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate your kind response. This figment of time in Rudy’s life became a pretty rich scene in my head. There are other places to go with this kid, no doubt. Cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

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