Ryan is so proud to be SIX and so thrilled that it is HIS birthday today. Unfortunately, because of skiing, we weren't able to have a family "party" so we had him open one present this morning and we sang happy birthday to him. He received a gift certificate to buy a movie from his contract worker (a woman who comes in and works with him 2 hours a week) so we went shopping to buy it. Ryan was determined to buy an "Elmo" video.... I don't know why.... I suggested The Wiggles, Dora, Brother Bear and a host of others but the whole way to the store AND in the store, he kept saying Elmo. Needless to say, we got 2 Sesame Street videos! And of course, since it was his birthday, I let him watch both.
After dinner, I took him to Dairy Queen for a birthday ice cream while Tom and Kurtis were skiing. Yummy!
Here are some recent pictures of my smily guy. Isn't he beautiful?? When he was born 6 years ago, all I immediately thought of was the bad stuff about having a child with Down syndrome. I was so sad for all I thought we had lost. But, I had no idea the joy that was in store for me. When he was born, my sister gave me a wall hanging that has his name with its meaning. It goes as follows:
One of Laughter
Thou wilt show me the path of life;
in thy presence is fulness of joy; at
at thy right hand there are pleasures
for evermore. Psalm 16:11
I remember thinking how ironic that was.... there was no way this child would be "one of laughter".... how could there be joy and laughter? It just wasn't going to be possible.
And now I realize how appropriate that meaning actually is. Ryan is one of the happiest children, or people for that matter, that I know. Yes, he does get sad, angry, upset.... but it doesn't last long. He is a joker - he loves being silly and making people laugh. He smiles almost all the time. He greets everyone with huge smiles and hugs. He says hello to strangers in the store and almost always gets smiles out of everyone (even the grumpy sales staff!). He brings such incredible joy to our lives. We truly are lucky to have been blessed to have a soul like his in our lives. Thank you God for bringing Ryan into our lives - he truly is a gift.