Today is my student's 18th birthday. He's had 10 unexpected years - most children with ALD die within months of developing symptoms, and Alex was not yet 8 when he was first noticed to have a problem.
Alex is a great fan of Liverpool Football Club, and as well as the gifts from their shop the hospital school and I have bought him, the club agreed to replace the signed pictures that went out-of-date soon after he received them at Christmas, when the manager resigned and their most valuable player was sold.
The pictures didn't arrive, and today I took the tracking number to the local sorting office - where they announced that the parcel had never been sent! I was given a (wrong) number, found the correct one, had three lengthy tries before finding an option that eventually connected me to an (alleged) human being, who reiterated that it cannot have been sent as it was not in their system. When I asked how the sender got the number in that case, she hung up on me!
Funnily enough I've sent in a complaint.
Of course, that won't make up for Alex's disappointment. Apparently he can make it to 18 under such dire circumstances, but Royal Mail can't even get a parcel to him.
Tomorrow there is a big party to celebrate the birthday he might never have reached, and I know all your good wishes will be with him now, and then.
Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.
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