Last night was the Special Olympics of NJ annual awards dinner. We were invited last night because our little boy landed himself on the cover the of awards dinner program, the awards that were given out AND at the VIP table with the president of the Special Olympics NJ and his family, AND Women's Soccer Olympic Gold medalist, Carly Lloyd. The experience for us is truly a motivational, inspirational and emotional night. We are so proud of Colin for what he has accomplished in just a few short years.
The first part of the night was the cocktail reception, and Colin spent the hour and a half walking up and down the hallway saying hi to those that were there, shaking hands and giving hi-fives. He loved the attention he was getting and when he found the backdrop for pictures, walked right up and said "Mom, Dad, Cheese!".
We found some ways to kill time by hanging out in the business center (it was tiring walking up and down the hallway over and over again in heels!) or in an enclosed foyer area (until he figured out how to open the door by himself).
There were so many highlights to the evening, but the keynote speaker of the evening was Carly Lloyd from the USA Gold medal Olympic Women's Soccer Team. Colin particularly hammed it up with her and sent her kisses across our table.
We were really, really proud of Colin because he sat at the table all night with us. We did have some help and are incredibly thankful for having the ipad to bring with us but even despite that, he was such a good boy for the length of time we were there and only being 3 years old! At the beginning of the night, Colin was introduced for his picture appearing on the program and he knew exactly what to do; he turned around, smiled and waved at the crowd. I could have died.
My life has evolved in more ways than I could have ever imagined because of Colin. I had some great conversations last night with a few adults with Down Syndrome that gives me a lot of hope for Colin's future. For so long, my life path was moving along just the way it was supposed to. I went to college, got a job, met the guy, got married, and was then pregnant and everything was just perfect, or so I thought. When Colin was born, I thought we deviated off of that "perfect road" but have since realized that the road less traveled is perfect just the way it is.
What an awesome night!