Last week, we celebrated Ryder’s 7th birthday, and I’m left in disbelief trying to recall all the milestones and memories, which have passed so quickly. Seven is a big deal, he is entering the 2nd grade this year, and ties of his dependence on me seem to be slowly slipping away.
When I reflect back on just the last year, he has grown significantly, not just psychically but emotionally, as well. We started off last year frazzled, knowing that he was slightly behind and uncertain what steps would be required to help him. Three weeks into the school year, he was enrolled in a reading recovery program, which proved to be a game changer. In addition to his occupational and psychical therapy, this program pulled him for 45 minutes a day, to work solely on his reading skills. Additional reading homework was assigned each night, and within two months, his reading skills improved dramatically. While he still struggles with reading, the steps of improvement are huge. Part of his reading difficulties were attributed to an eye condition known as convergence insufficiency, which occurs when the eye don’t work together when trying to focus on something. As a result of the condition, he was prescribed eye glasses and eye therapy in December. After diligence in wearing his glasses and attending eye therapy, his eye doctor recently informed us that he will probably no longer require glasses or therapy after this December. Major progress! There’s a few more bits to his advancement like the fact he’s been gluten free for eight months now, but I’m excited to see what’s in store for him come 2nd grade and feel confident he is and we are all going in the right direction when it comes to his development.
This summer vacation has brought huge milestones for him psychically. He has always been an excellent swimmer, but he’s definitely perfected his skills and confidence in the water. He has learned to paddle board, dive, boogie board, and he’s been fishing all summer long. I feel like the beach and water have been his therapy.
The morning of his birthday started like every other birthday in our house. Fresh pancakes, whip cream, and a candle to sing Happy Birthday. It’s a tradition I started on Ryder’s 1st birthday, and the kids look forward to it every year. For the rest of the day, I let him choose where to go, what to do, and who he wanted to include. This year, the new Sea Glass Carousel opened in our neighborhood, so he wanted to be one of the first kids to check it out. We followed the carousel up with some time in the park, then headed to our favorite cupcake shop, Molly’s for a sweet treat. With their built in swings, and their killer flour less chocolate cupcake, it’s really hard to beat.
Weeks leading up to his birthday, Jason and I made plenty of suggestions for ideas for his birthday party, but all he wanted was a pool party at my parents house with some of his friends; and that’s exactly what we did. It was a departure from the norm of what his previous birthday celebrations of amusement parks, but it was just perfect. Fortunately, the weather was better than predicted, making for a great day of barbecuing, while the kids played for hours in the pool and on the jungle gym in the backyard.
All in all, it was a three day birthday celebration for his his lucky seventh birthday. I’m so truly proud of him, and the progress he made these last twelve months. He’s turning into quite the little man, but he will always my little baby boy
Happy happy birthday to my first born, Ryder. ~ Love Mom