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.