“The baby boy @joseydorsey is 6!” the actor, 38, captioned an Instagram slideshow. “Two thousand one hundred ninety + days old. My sweet, smart, spectacular boy, every day is a gift, I love you more every day and am so proud to call you my son.”
Josey’s Batman-themed birthday bash came one year after the Glee alum died at age 33 in a drowning accident. The actress was swimming in Lake Piru, California, in July 2020 with her son and helped him back onto the boat before she went under.
In September 2019, the California native celebrated Josey’s 4th birthday with a sweet Instagram tribute. “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be,” Rivera wrote at the time. “Happy birthday Josey! Love Mommy.”
Since the singer’s death, the little one has been living with his dad and his aunt Nickayla Rivera. Josey “loves to entertain” and “sings at the top of his lungs,” Nickayla, 26, said during a July Good Morning America appearance.
Naya’s mom, Yolanda Previtire, chimed in at the time: “He’s like a boy version of her in every sense of the word. His tenacity, his drive, in zeal, his adventure for life. He’s Naya in boy form.”
After reflecting on her final FaceTime call with Naya, Previtire spoke candidly about her grieving journey. “Sometimes we’re afraid of the sorrow being so heavy that we’re afraid for [ourselves],” the real estate agent said. “I feel Naya’s energy constantly telling me, ‘Mom, be happy. Don’t cry. I’m OK. Go get Josey. Have fun.’ And I feel that it’s coming from her. I literally wake up every morning, and it’s almost like a restart button, and I have to shake it off … one foot at a time. And here we are.”
That same month, Naya’s dad, George Rivera, told Entertainment Tonight about his “strong” grandson.
“Nickayla and Ryan are doing a really great job,” he explained to the outlet. “We handle him, and we talk to him just like he’s a 5-year-old going on 6. It’s no different, but when he wants to talk about his mother, we talk about his mother, in conversation. He’s growing up and handling it really well. It’s not like you’re talking about a ghost that’s floating around, right? He’s got memories as well, but boy is he coming around.”
Keep scrolling to see Josey ringing in his birthday on Sunday.