Riley has never met someone that isn't his friend. He is always saying hi to people and his new current obsession is asking people their name. "What your name" he yells. He has always been a name person but it is a constant now and with school he is meeting a lot of new kids. Some times its a game like with our friend Jenny. He is in love with Jenny's daughter Maddie. Most afternoons we see Jenny during school pick up. Riley seeks her out so he can see Maddie. He asks for Maddie and then asks Jenny "what your name?" With her its a big game. Over and over he'll go through every one's name and then he's back to "what your name" and looks right at Jenny. Thank goodness our friends have a great sense of humour. I think I take it for granted really because seriously if you don't have a sense of humour chances are we aren't that good of friends and if you don't have a sense of humour when it comes to Riley then I know we aren't that good of friends. I am always impressed how patient the kids are with Riley and his silly ways. Kids don't have to be nice to him they don't really understand why he is sometimes hard to understand or why he takes so long to walk the stairs but we are super blessed with an amazing group of friends that have amazing kiddos. Our entire school community has embraced Riley and all his crazy antics.
Days like today really reinforce that we made the perfect decision sending Riley to All Saints. His private OT changed her schedule around so she could come to school and see Riley in the classroom. She calls each week to let me know how it went so we can make plans for anything he needs to be more successful in the classroom. When she called today she shared that as soon as Riley saw her he said "no wiggle wiggle" which is his way of saying he doesn't want to write. She has a little song where he wiggle wiggles his fingers to get set on the pencil grip and to help him remember to use this thumb to move this pencil. Its hard and he doesn't like to do things that are hard. His little friend Molly pipes up and says "Riley you need to wiggle your fingers... it makes it easier to write". Molly and his other buddies are helping to hold him accountable and encouraging him to keep up. They listen to his therapists and the teacher and try to help Molly doesn't let him take the easy way out. She wants to help him so he can do the same things she is doing and I adore her for it. She loves Riley just as he is. What is so reassuring to me is that Molly's entire family seems to genuinely care about Riley. The big sisters and cousins often stop and say hi on the playground or when we see them at football games. The parents giggle at his antics but are interested in how he is doing.
One of my biggest fears was what if other parents didn't want him there. What if they were afraid their child wouldn't get enough attention because a child with Down syndrome was taking all the teachers time. I have to say I have never once felt that way- again wasted worry. I have had nothing but positive responses and not very often does a day go by with out someone telling me how glad they are that Riley is at All Saints or how fun it is to see him at school. It makes this mama feel pretty darn good!
For those of you who have been following the Ella and Riley love story the marriage is still on. No need to worry a boy just needs to have lots of friends to stay on track.
|Getting bunny ears from Ella|