There are so many reasons why we are grateful that you are part of our family, but to celebrate World Down Syndrome Day, the 21st of March 21/3 and your tiny little extra 21st chromosome, here are 21.
1. Your heart – not only is it physically strong and healthy but it is pure and so full of love. We are grateful every single day that your heart is a part of our hearts.
2. Your strong will – although at times it is testing and frustrating, we are ever grateful that you know what you want and what you don’t want. We love that you are strong enough to say no.
3. Your humor – we laugh every single day because of you. Your sense of humor is infectious.
4. Your beautiful blue, almond shaped eyes – the windows to your soul which give us so much insight into your emotions.
5. Your strength – physically you are so strong, you have defied our every expectation with what you have and continue to achieve physically.
6. Your love for books – the quality time that you spend reading with your Dad every evening fills our hearts with joy.
7. Your love for Derek the cat – the importance of loving animals has always been so imperative to us, and the bond that you share with Derek fills our hearts with joy.
8. Your embracing of change – from starting school to getting a new sibling all in the same week, you have seamlessly moved into your new role and embraced your new school environment. We are so proud of you.
9. The fact that you are changing perceptions – by being the amazing soul that you are, you are changing perceptions, shattering stereotypes and spreading awareness.
10. Your determination – with school, Occupational and Speech Therapy sessions, plus us at home pushing you, I know you get tired. Your tenacity and energy for these tasks is endless and we are blown away by your determination.
11. Your love for your sister – although you two had a rocky start, some pushing, some poking and a whole lot of laughing when she cried, the bond that you two have is already evident and we are so excited to see it strengthen even further.
12. Your love of light – I love that your first word was “light”. It is no coincidence that you love all lights, it must be because there is no darkness inside of you, just pure, blinding light.
13. Your love for your family – it’s not only your direct family that you adore, but your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your cousins and our closest friends too.
14. Your love of sleep – sleeping has always been your forte. And as new, first time parents we could not have been more for grateful for this. The fact that you sleep through your new sisters early morning wake ups is a bonus too.
15. Your affect on strangers – when we are in public, your insistence of high fives, babbling and infectious smiles never fail to produce wide smiles from strangers. We love how you so evidently brighten up a room.
16. Your charm – you are a born entertainer, charming people one chuckle, one smile and one high five at a time.
17. Your ability to unify– you have brought us as a family closer together, you have brought amazing people who we may never have met into our lives and you continue to strengthen bonds wherever you go.
18. Your ability to teach – in your short life you have taught us so much about ourselves, about life, about love and about acceptance.
19. Your chubby little hands – they are strong to grip and hold and yet they are gentle to pat, stroke and caress. With your clapping, pointing and high fives they are efficient little communicators, expressing your needs, wants and dislikes.
20. Your gentle nature – you are kind, thoughtful and perceptive. Your teacher recently told us that you are the kindest boy in the class. This makes us proud beyond measure.
21. The fact that you chose us – much has been said about how we found out your diagnosis prenatally, but not enough has been said about how you in fact chose us.
You knew that we needed you in our lives.
Happy World Down Syndrome Awareness Day our precious boy, our dream is that your light shines into every place of darkness and that acceptance, inclusion, love and tolerance become the norm. We could not love you more.