One year, we planned Ryan's party for the week after Friendship Camp (i.e. social skills group) and decided to invite some of the boys from camp. Even in a group of only about 8 boys, I still had to ask the camp counselor who Ryan spent most of his time with because he could not tell me on his own. I'm here to tell you, that party could have been a skit on Saturday Night Live. Between all the no red dye, no gluten, no dairy, no bugs, no loud noises, no sunscreen and no unexpected movements as well as the in depth discussions on dinosaurs, weather events, the periodical table of elements, planets and the intricacies of the various levels in Mario's world, I did not need any creepy clowns, pooping horses or Joneses family ideals, because whether they intended it or not, these amazing kiddos were the best entertainment around. These amazing boys were unique, they were quirky and they were Awesome! Yes, Ryan had a meltdown after being reprimanded for his rudeness when a birthday gift didn't make the cut, and of course he let the kid know it, and yes two hours was PLENTY of time, but, Ryan and his guests seemed to enjoy themselves. As one parent put it, "My son was just happy knowing he was finally invited to a birthday party".
I'm glad we aren't the Joneses. Chances are they will never learn such a valuable lesson that was taught to me by an 11 year old boy, because the Joneses will be too busy cleaning up pony poop, wiping clown make-up off their best party glasses and planning next year's bigger and better party with Clueless and Denial at the helm to ever truly "get it". So to Ryan and his very special guest, thank you for teaching this old dog new tricks. For opening my eyes and allowing me to see in a way that only children can. Yesterday will be forever emblazoned on my heart and the bonus of not having pony poop on my shoes, well, that's just the icing on the cake.