Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Birthday Ralph!

Ralph turned six years old on Monday!!

When he was a baby, I would look at the six year old-ish kids with Down Syndrome and wonder, "what will Ralph be like at that age?" Now I look at 12 and 16 year olds and think the same thing. I'll probably always do that...there are so many unknowns about what his life will look like, and how far he will develop. One thing I can say for sure is that because of his attitude, his life will be great regardless of his development.

Since his actual birthday fell on a Monday, we had a sort of birthday weekend extravaganza! Grandma Linda drove up to stay with us on Saturday. We did ice cream and cake that day. I didn't do a fancy cake for Ralph, but instead I let him come to the store to pick it out. Funny boy, I showed him a few cakes that he could chose from. He wanted me to put them all into the cart!

His level of excitement during the party made for lots of great photos and videos. Blowing out the candles is always worthy of applause. He squealed with delight over every present, but went nuts over the new fireman dress up outfit.

After church on Sunday, dad and I took Ralph on a field trip. We are acquainted with many firemen and so dad had the genius idea to visit a fire station. We took Ralph to visit a friend who was on duty that afternoon. He got to sit in the truck, look in all the compartments, try on a real coat and helmet, and hold the hose they use on grass fires. Ralph made himself at home in the living room/kitchen of the station, watched some poker on the TV and had cookies the guys had just baked. It was the highlight of his birthday weekend.

On Monday morning, I picked up some grocery store cookies for Ralph to share with his friends at school. His brothers in California and Nebraska called him on the phone to say "happy birthday!" Those awesome boys never fail to call each of their siblings on their birthdays.

So Ralph had a store bought cake and store bought cookies for his friends. I would have loved to make him something fabulous, but he couldn't have been happier either way. It is more important for me to "show up" and be emotionally available to him, than it is to worry about the details. I think we often make the mistake of worrying too much about the event and too little about the child. I feel like we got this one right, this one time.


Jill said...

Happy Birthday Ralph!!! What a fun weekend you had. :-)

(Stephanie, what a great reminder about being there for your child instead of worried about all the details. I'm glad Sarah has taken over the cake making for me. :-))

Jolene said...

Happy Birthday to Ralph! SIX is such a wonderful age!

Sarah said...

aww! That's awesome! I'm sure he was in his element!! :)