Friday, March 21, 2014

What was I so Afraid of?

Today is World Down Syndrome Day.  Two and a half years ago I had no idea that such a day existed, nor would I have dreamed that I would be celebrating it.  But I have a very, very good reason to. ;)

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I can remember the night of his birth like it was yesterday.  Sitting in the hospital bed.  Staring at the wall in front of me with nothing but a clock on it.  Its hands did not seem to be moving, but all I wanted was for that night to be over.  I remember thinking, "My son has Down Syndrome.  My son has Down Syndrome.  I cannot believe MY son has Down Syndrome."  I remember the fear, the lump in my throat, and the pain I felt in the pit of my stomach as those words kept repeating over and over and over in my head.

There are many times that I look at him now, and flash back to that night, that bed, the clock, its hands, those thoughts, my fears...and all I can do is smile.

When I walk into the room after he wakes up in the morning, he greets me with an enthusiastic "HI!", a huge wave, and a big grin.  

He does the same thing to complete strangers everywhere we go.  

And each time I think, "What was I so afraid of?"

We're on the floor.  I finish changing his diaper, put his clothes on, and stand him up.  He looks at me, wraps his arms around my neck, and says, "Bobba!" (Can't quite get that "m" sound)  And I think to myself, "What was I so afraid of?"

We're sitting outside, and I ask him if he wants to draw with chalk.  He holds it up, says, "Calk!" and giggles.  And I think, "What was I so afraid of?"

And then he goes and gets a ball, and says "Ball?"  He rolls it to me.  I roll it back.  He laughs.  I laugh.  And I think to myself, "What was I so afraid of?"

He's sitting in the living room chugging a sippy cup.  He burps, and out of nowhere says, "Scuse You!" to himself.  We crack up laughing.  So does he.  And then he tries to do it again.

He finishes breakfast, cruises his way across the living room, picks up the remote control, hands it to me, points to the TV, and says, "Bar-Bar!" (aka Barney) 

I watch him interact with his Brother and Sister. They love him like crazy.  They teach him new words, and he tries his best to repeat them.  They laugh and play together.  I watch them praise him for the smallest of things.  

And I think to myself, "What was I so afraid of?"

I ask him if he's ready to go night night.  He crinkles up his nose, squints his eyes, and says, "Nooo!" And then he giggles.

He does something that he knows he's not supposed to.  He hears me say, "Deacon!" He turns, looks at me, shakes his little finger, and says, "No No!"

And I think to myself, "What was I so afraid of?"

He looks at himself in the mirror, points, says "Deacon!", and cracks up laughing.

Everyday I watch him grow, learn, play, and explore.  He's developing his own little personality.  Expressing his likes and his dislikes.  Making messes, and acting like a typical two year old.

And everyday I find myself thinking, "What was I so afraid of?"

And that I wish it would slow down.

On this day, and every day, I celebrate this boy along with all of the other individuals who rock an extra chromosome.   I pray that the world can see how beautiful each and every one of them are.  Hand-crafted by God, we are all the same in His eyes.  Each person on this Earth was fearfully and wonderfully made by Him.  What a boring place this would be if we were all the same!

Happy World Down Syndrome Day!!!