Monday, December 5, 2011

Life Lessons

Who knew that wrestling would give Rex so many life lessons.  Rex has always been my sports kid.  He would rather be bouncing, kicking, catching, or hitting any type of ball than almost anything else in the world.  He has had a sweet spiral since the type he could walk and when he started soccer at 5 he informed me he was born to play.  This year Rex was able to play flag football for the first time and also was able to test out wrestling.  I love that he is into sports.  I'm a huge fan of team sports and all the lessons that they teach.  Being part of teams growing up are some of my favorite memories and I want that for Rex.  He is testing lots of sports out and I'm sure will have a hard time choosing when the time comes.  Wrestling was a first for individual sports for both of us.  Rex was super excited that he was able to try it out and it was even better that it was through his school so it was lots of his best buddies. 

I was a little taken back by Rex's first match.  It was my very first wrestling match and wow does that experience go against all natural motherly instincts.  I hate that so many kids leave the mat crying because they are either physically hurting or because they just tried their very best and still lost the match.  Its rough out there.  In one moment to be cringing as Rex is pinned and in the next to be cringing because your son is rubbing some kids face into the mat.    I have to say I'm still not a fan but Rex loves it so we do it all again next year. 

I may not love it but it is a growing experience for Rex.  He has always been a nervous kid. Shy and never wanting to draw the attention of an adult or kid for that matter.  You certainly can't be shy when you decide to wrestle.  Just you and your opponent out on the mat in front of a crowd of over 100 concerned parents and team mates. 

The end of the season tournament was this last weekend.  We arrived early for warm ups and Rex was very excited for the big day.  Minutes before his first match he rushed over to us to inform us that he was so nervous he was going to throw up.  Serious tears, gagging and overall just a hot mess of nerves.  Rex always runs nervous but I had never seen it like this before.  I rushed him out of the gym in hopes of him not puking in front of his friends and Justin and I tried some fast talking pep talks make sure he new just how proud of him we were and it didn't matter if he won or not.  We couldn't talk fast enough.  I went into the gym and told his coach that he was having some nerve issues...  coach went out to talk to him and 10 seconds later he is out on the mat.  He had wiped his tears and was ready to go.  I am so proud of him for swallowing the nerves and getting out there.  I'm not so sure I could have done it.  That first match didn't go so well but Rex rocked out the next two.  He had a great day and was so completely excited and proud of himself.   It was a day of conquering fears and big emotions! 

Let me sqish you lil boy

Click on this one to make it bigger...  the look on the other boys face is priceless.  Who know Rex could squeeze a boy hard enough to make that face...

I'm sure this has a technical name...  the short version is he flipped him

The PIN!!!

I love watching the kids in the background.  The boy on the mat in the last shot is a 7 grader that Rex adores.  He is the sweestest boy and is so kind to Rex.  He gave him lots of pep talks and advise on moves.   He couldn't find a better role model. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hurricane Riley reaches Catagory 5 status!

Its hard to believe that Riley turned 5 yesterday.  In some ways it feels like yesterday that we welcomed Riley into our family.  One look into those big beautiful eyes and we were in love!  In other ways it seems like an lifetime ago.  We have come a long way from those scared parents that learned from amnio that their son would have Down syndrome and looked across the delivery room to search for the proof that the test might be wrong.  In an instant I knew that it was right and we were embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. 

  I am different.  Our family is different. Our friends are different.  We are all better than we were 5 years ago.  Everyone that meets Riley is better for knowing him.

 He has never know someone that isn't his friend.  Riley has opened our minds and our hearts and challenges us to see people for who they are.  My biggest fear for Riley as he grows is that people will judge him because they see Down syndrome when they look in his beautiful brown eyes.  That they will decide before they know him that he must be loving and won't be very smart because of that extra chromosome.  If they know him they will understand that he is loving because he has a big heart, because he is surrounded by family and friends that love him unconditionally, and he is a mirror of that love.  When they know him people will understand how smart he is, they will know that he is sly and mischievous and rotten and wonderful all at the same time.  This fear I have of how people will react to my son has made me look at my own life. Made me change the way I look at other people.  Am I judging at a glance because of some outward sign that something is a little different that I was expecting.  I am far from perfect but I know everyday Riley teaches me to be a better person. 

Riley had his 5 year check up today.  I love our pediatrician. She is in love with Riley and always has a way of making me feel like a rock start of a mom.  Riley is amazing and I may have to enlist Dr Marla's help if the school district ever fails to see where the most appropriate setting is for Riley.  We had a great conversation about his development and how typical he really is.  If people have high expectations he rises to meet them. 

This week Riley has been particularly feisty at school.  I was out of town for work and my daily updates kept my co workers laughing.  On Monday he told his teacher Miss Michelle  "Listen Up "chelle...  No TIME OUT K"  On Tuesday every time he was asked to do something he didn't want to he said"Bummer "chelle...   Bummer Alice".  Yesterday on his birthday he woke up full of it and when I called to say happy birthday he says "thank you mom"  and was proud to announce that he was 5 whenever he was asked.  He walked around singing "happy birthday to Riley" all day.  Today's report from school informed us that he was defiant and was not happy that Miss Colleen was making him pull up his own pants after going potty.   He finally gave in and says "FINE COLLEEN" and then pulls them up.    Riley makes me laugh everyday.  Too bad I have to pretend he isn't funny so he doesn't get his way.  He knows if he can make you smile he can get away with anything.  If you happen to tell him that he isn't being funny he smiles and says  "YES Funny!"

Happy Birthday Riley William!!!  You are one loved little boy.  I am so thankful you arrived to complete our family.