Let Them Eat Ice Cream!
On my ride to work this morning, I heard the story of Ryan Roberts. Ryan is a 21 month old toddler who was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect who sadly, has just weeks to live. His parents want him to enjoy the time he has left and created a bucket list.
His bucket list: contains all the usual stuff a toddler would experience; petting a puppy and riding a bike. It also includes a few more unusual items like getting a speeding ticket for going too fast in the hospital! Diane Roberts, Ryan's mom, suggested, to those asking what they could do to help, to spend some time with their own kids and create a memory in honor of their happy, smiling son.
When doctors told them there was nothing else they could do for Ryan’s heart, they stopped his supportive cared and declared him a DNR -- Do Not Resuscitate. Diane Roberts took to her Facebook page to let out her frustrations.
“People kept asking, ‘What can I do for you?’ We didn't want anything,” she tells HLN. “We didn’t want the people to bring stuffed animals and balloons. His room is filled with balloons.“
Her suggestion was a simple one: “I said, just go create a memory with your kids. Just go put a banana split down in front of your kids for dinner and watch their faces light up. No chicken, rice and broccoli tonight, just ice cream. They're going to remember that forever.”
Before she knew it, that simple request took on a life of its own. Her friends created a Facebook event called "Ryan's Banana Split Party" and what started with a circle of friends has now gone viral with more than 20,000 people pledging to hold their own banana split parties in Ryan’s honor!
Ryan's story helps remind us that sometimes the simple things can create the most precious of memories. You can share your words of encouragement and share pictures of your own ice cream party by visiting Ryan's Banana Split Party on Facebook.
On a related note: In my house, we do Ice Cream for Breakfast on the kids' birthdays. Here is a picture of Hannah on her 10th birthday, enjoying her Mint Chip Ice Cream! My hope is that when they have families of their own, they will continue on with this tradition and make special memories with their own kids. You can call me Fun Mommy!