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Let me be clear, I am exhausted from all the socializing using proper social distancing, while celebrating Bailey’s birthday. This wasn’t the ideal setup, obviously, but we made it work and so did our amazing group of friends and family.

I shared on Monday, that I was hoping to find someone to decorate our front yard. The company that most people were using didn’t have any birthday decorations left. As luck would have it, I found another place and they were amazing. I explained my predicament and she eased my mind plus they gave me a discount as a birthday gift to Bailey. Some humans are kind. The yard was so magical and Bailey absolutely loved it.

There were surprises sprinkled throughout the day. People stopping by with their cars decorated, gifts left on the front porch and one of my favorites was his best friend, Sam showing up. It was hard because they are huggers. I mean, seriously, you tell Down syndrome individuals not to hug, and it crushes their spirit. But, they maintained a healthy six foot separation and when Sam left he said, “I love you, Bailey”. My heart about burst.

His cousin, Caden and his beautiful wife, Tara, along with their sweet dog, Lilly, showed up with gifts including homemade salsa. When you give salsa to Bailey, it is like he won the lottery. But, this particular salsa is gold as it is his grandfather’s recipe. It is like love in a bottle.

As the sun went down, the day concluded with our friends, the Matejas, who decorated two of their cars, obnoxiously blew their horns, and had birthday posters displayed as they pulled up in front of our house. Bailey doesn’t usually get embarrassed but his face was priceless. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Do you know what I loved best about yesterday besides celebrating my son?It was the smiles of the many people who passed our yard. That was the icing on the cake. (Pun intended. Even though we had apple pie.) When we were outside, people waved, they wished Bailey a “Happy Birthday”, cars honked as they drove by, and neighbors stopped to take photos with him – six feet apart – with his whimsical yard decorations. It was like for one day, we weren’t so heavy with our new reality.

Once the Pandemic of 2020 ends, we will celebrate in proper fashion, but I will never forget his 25th birthday. It left an imprint. As we came inside after the last of our friends stopped by, Bailey said, “Thank you for my birthday. It was the best day ever”. Yes, it was Bailey. Yes, it was.