Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Mother's and Sons

Yesterday was Danny's forty-fourth birthday, which begs the question of how much longer I can keep my credibility while maintaining my assertion that I am thirty- nine. It worked for a long time but he is not so gullible these days. Danny is an adult with developmental disabilities, but in the picture he is a two year old sitting beside his big sister and the smiles are all for her. This is a black and white picture and not in good condition, but I decided to use it here because while it is black and white, I can assure you he has the bluest eyes you will ever see. The brighter the eyes the more mischief, and the more excitement we could expect. Things don't change much. Incredibly blue eyes can be good or bad when they are Dan's.

This is Danny today. This is his cool look! He doesn't like shirts that button, but that day he wore it because I asked him to. Never mind it was a typical mid-west day with temps in the triple digits with a heat index to be afraid of, and I wanted him to make it through the day. He does look cool and perhaps a little hip don't you think. Any involved parent with a disabled child knows the challenges facing both parent and and child. Danny has been in supported-living for almost twenty years. The people who have helped him grocery shop, taught him to clean and do laundry have been legion, or so it seems. They come and they go, but mostly go. He develops friendships and so misses them when they are gone. Now, he is excited to be 44. While the rest of us try not to think of another year, he rejoices in each and every one. From his 21st birthday to his 44th he has always wanted to go to a casino and put a few dollars in a machine. Yesterday was no different and he won five dollars. Pretty exciting! This year he also wanted to have lunch at Red Lobster and receive as a gift, Monster Truck Jam for his DS. We made all of that happen. This year he is looking forward to a late birthday party so his very special niece can attend. For the last few years he has maintained that he does not like chocolate so his cake will be cheesecake, a current favorite. He does eat chocolate but refuses to elaborate or even talk about it. The truth is like most of us he tries to find his place in the world and not liking chocolate so his cake is different from anyone else's' is how he is managing this for now. That's okay. He is aging as we all do and so there are good and bad days. What we all as a family know for sure is the following: Dan is as grown up as he knows how to be, he is compassionate, he cares about the well being of children, if your car is broken, he will find a mechanic just for you, he loves his family, he calls his brother-in-law, brother, his sister, sweetie and takes his responsibilities as an uncle to the now 12 year old very seriously. Happy Birthday Danny. We all love you so much.

8 comments:

Sharon Stroud said...

What a wonderful story, Nadine! Thank you for sharing it.

Margaret said...

Happy Birthday, Danny! My "boy" was 48 on Monday.
Margaret

(un)Deniably Domestic said...

Happy Birthday big guy! I love you so much! I think you are hip and cool everyday in every way. I am a spoiled sister - who among you has a brother that calls every day just to say "I love you, Kelly." Love, sis.

John said...

What? Danny had a birthday? Why didn't he say anything?

vintagefindings@me.com said...

Oh. Your words tug at my heart, so I can only imagine how you feel. He looks so happy!

Karen

Kathy said...

Dan is my favorite nephew. He is kind and loving just as he mother has said. And he is very cool and hip. I love you Dan, Happy late birthday.
Aunt Kathy

Purple Pam said...

Happy Belated Birthday to Danny. That picture of he and Kelly is darling.

PennyS said...

Nadine,
This is a great story!! I have known Danny and Kelly a LONG time! I love them both and always have a great time when I get to see them. Danny is a very caring and compassionate man. He is fun to be with and never forgets who I am, even after not seeing each other for many years. Love you all and hope to see you all in July again!