- Hope that RJ would love the first grade...check
- Hope that RJ would do well academically considering his learning challenges…check
- Hope that RJ’s physical limitations would not impede new friendships…check
- Hope that RJ is happy…check check check
- Hope that RJ’s body tolerates the daily corticosteroid medicine that he began several months ago...check
- Hope that we can live each day in the present and not dwell for long on what is going to happen in the future…check
- Hope that our love for one another and faith in God is strong enough to carry us in our journey…check
RJ started his birthday celebration with an outing to his first ever Cavs game with his Dad and his Grandpa Sullivan. He loves watching the Cavs and proudly wore his #23 Cavs shirt (that went to his knees because apparently all the small sizes were sold during Christmas)! He was excited to see The Shaq Attack and The King and how tall they must be. When RJ arrived home, almost all expectations were meet. He had wings before the game, popcorn at the game, excitement during the game from constant cheering and the Cavs brought home a victory against the toenail clippers (as he calls the LA Clippers). However, when you sit three rows from the top of the Quicken Loans Arena, even Shaq does not look tall!
His family party was filled with an unexpected surprise. His Aunt Julie came from Oregon to be part of the celebration. He was very excited to say the least. RJ’s sister Shannon, who might have a career in party planning, had the whole party day planned out for RJ. She made programs for everyone, a magic show for entertainment (with RJ as her assistant), games for everyone to play including a scorecard to tally the winners of each game, pin the lightsaber on a Star Wars figure that she drew, and a homemade work of art. She painted RJ a sea turtle on a piece of stretched canvas. He proudly has it hanging in his room.
Although RJ is not strong enough to play basketball with his friends on a team, his Aunt Maureen and Uncle Dino sent him an arcade style basketball game with a timer, a buzzer and a three point line. After a little practice and a chair to stand on (to make him closer), RJ was able to make his first basket…his birthday couldn’t get any better. But wait, it did get better. RJ got to pick out the food for his party, we had potato chips/dip and hot taco dip as appetizers, pizza, chicken wings, and ice-cream cake. Not one thing healthy…perfect in RJ’s eyes. He is very happy to be seven years old because when he was six he always ate six wings to correspond with his age but now the revelation set in, he could eat seven wings! He eats them like a true Buffalonian (his Mom grew up in Buffalo) covered in hot sauce, blue cheese/celery on the side and every last bit of chicken taken off the bone! Thank goodness for the celery, we finally had something from another section of the food pyramid! As we put RJ to sleep that night he proclaimed it was the best birthday ever....music to our ears! How could we not be happy?