Bryan Walter Payne


We were blessed with Bryan Walter Payne on November 18, 2004 at 1:37 am.

We were told shortly after his birth that the doctors had some reason to believe that he had Down syndrome.  That was the day our lives changed forever…. for the good!

A day in the life of Bryan is pretty much like any other child with minor differences!  He wakes up, eats his breakfast, gets ready for school, catches the bus, goes to school and comes home! He plays, eats his dinner, gets ready for bed… just like any other child. He is the light of our lives!

Below are a few things that make Bryan a little more unique:

  • Each morning when he wakes up – he wakes up with a huge SMILE!  This is not an exaggeration, Bryan wakes up EVERY morning with a smile on a his face, and kiss on my cheek – yelling “good morning”!  If he doesn’t have that smile, then I know he is either not feeling well or something is not right.
  • When Bryan gets ready for school, it may take him a little longer in the morning, because it’s not so easy to put on his socks and shoes or to zip up his coat… BUT when he does we do some MAJOR CELEBRATING in our house!!! Any reason to celebrate is GREAT to me and each accomplishment is WONDERFUL!!  So taking a little bit longer each morning to work hard at something is NOT a big deal!
  • When Bryan catches the bus, he’s the first child on his bus and he is lucky to have not only a great bus driver, but a wonderful bus aid who watches out for his safety.  They both talk to Bryan and listen to him sing all the way to school!
  • When Bryan gets to school he’s in a self-contained classroom… BUT he is main-streamed for recess, gym, lunch and different activities throughout the day.  Bryan’s school day is a vigorous day as he receives speech, physical and occupational therapies!  For most of the time he keeps a happy face! 🙂
  • When he comes home he is usually really tired, but always makes time to “play” with his dog Sandy!  I use the word “play” very loosely, because Bryan chases her and she runs away from him because she’s not quite sure what’s on Bryan’s mind! Bry is an only child – so Sandy is the closest thing to a sibling that he has! 🙂 🙂9
  • Bryan LOVES music!!  Once Bryan chases Sandy around, he runs straight upstairs to his electric piano and starts playing some tunes!  He’s also been found trying to teach himself to play some of his favorite tunes – such as “Fur Elise” by Beethoven (he’s actually gotten pretty far just by sound!)

Bryan has a great attitude and LOVES his family!! He has A LOT of cousins who love him dearly and always love to see him! He loves his grandparents and he is VERY lucky to have both sets of grandparents living very close to him and both very actively involved in his life – BUT what makes him EVEN LUCKIER is that he has a set of Great-grandparents that live less than 2 hours away!!  How many kids can say they have as many grandparents as this kid??? Not many!

I’m not saying that Bryan hasn’t faced adversities in his life – but what child hasn’t? I’m choosing not to focus on those times and trying to teach him not to focus on them!  It’s the tough times that define us – they make us stronger!  We celebrate Bryan EVERY day – not just on his birthday, not just on World Down syndrome day!  We are SO happy to have him in our lives and we wouldn’t change a thing about him!!! We love you Bry!


Meriah is the deaf, single mom of 3 kids (one gifted 2E, one with Down syndrome). A longtime career counselor, teacher and disability advocate, she loves helping to create community and empower parents, people with disabilities (and of course, parents with disabilities).

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