Here are six things about Pacey at six years old:
1) He loves: his family, his dog, the iPad (just about in that order), kindergarten, his friends, Handy Manny, Peppa Pig (which has been banned from the house after we heard too many obnoxious things being repeated), Angry Birds, You Tube videos of other kids playing with toys (??), movies, McDonalds french fries, the Treehouse, chocolate milk, playing outside and adventuring through the woods, cake and about a thousand other things. This kid loves life.
2) He is absolutely rocking kindergarten. We had his first quarter conference last week and I could not have been happier or more proud of him. He has already met or exceeded many of the expectations of him by January and I am pretty confident he'll make great progress in the other areas. He's kind to his classmates, loves his teachers and is an unusually cooperative participant in his therapies. The worst thing I've ever heard about his behavior at school is that he's a little overly zealous with affection at times. If that's the worst I ever hear, I'll consider myself so very lucky.
3) He talks!! I would still have considered him mostly non-verbal until about six months ago. He has been with the same private speech therapist for two years now and she has helped him make huge strides in his articulation. His school speech therapist has used some really effective strategies with him and functionally he's leapt forward since September. He has kind of a gravelly little voice and is starting to use casual phrases that never fail to surprise me when they pop out, word perfect. Clearly my harping has paid off too, because people constantly comment on how polite he is.
4) He loves music. Some of his favorite artists right now include Ke$ha and Snoop, and it is a bit unsettling to realize how many lyrics he is quietly memorizing (nothing too bad). I don't know why but his ability to learn songs is amazing to me - I feel like it's a good indicator of everything going on inside his head.
5) He has some real introvert tendencies. While he loves his friends and is a good playmate, after awhile he really just needs some down time and will often play on his own. He remains incredibly good at entertaining himself. This year he's developed sensitivity to loud noises and really dislikes crowd noise at sporting events and the noise of the car wash. I suppose it's another great sign that his hearing has improved a lot with ear tubes and general growth.
6) I didn't have many specific expectations for him when he was born; he was my first baby and I hadn't really thought about it all that much. It seems strange, then, that I experienced such grief when we were told he had Down syndrome. I didn't even really know what I was mourning. I can't really say he's exceeded my expectations (because I didn't have many) but I can say that I never dreamed how he would change my life. He cemented our little family and I feel so grateful that he fought through the rocky beginning to become the robust KID he is today. Happy birthday to my boy.