Your father and I spent the morning of your third birthday crying on the hallway floor. I know this sounds confusing, so let me explain the words that didn’t need to be spoken between us that morning.
We were crying, because of how deeply you have changed who we are in the last three years. We were crying because these years have often been hard. We were crying because we are so completely in love with you and all that you are.
Dear son, I’m crying as I write this now. You bring out the best in me, the best in us, the best in those around you.
Yes, your Down syndrome diagnosis makes things harder for us at times, harder for you at times. I won’t deny that fact like I used to. The Sesame Street shirt you wore at your party read, “Easy As 1,2,3”, but getting to where you are, where we are, has not been easy. But it has been good.
I’ve realized that an easy life does not mean a good life. A good life is one full of love and purpose. You have given us both.
My love for you has fierceness beyond what I can humanly describe. I love you when you’re trying with all your might to complete an obstacle course in physical therapy, I love your mischievous grin you have when you’re doing something you’re not supposed to, which is often, I love you when you give kisses to total strangers, I love you when you bring your baby brother toys, I love your infectious excitement that exudes from your veins every single day, I love that you have an empathy that surpasses most adults at the age of three.
You’re about to start public school. Things are getting more real. You aren’t a baby anymore. Advocating will have to be more than from behind a computer screen. I’m ready to fight for you. I will always fight for you.
When people say you don’t belong, I will be in your corner as you show them how wrong they are. When people say you or others with Down syndrome shouldn’t exist, I will share your life with them. Whatever battle comes your way, I will be there to fight for you until you can fight for yourself. But no matter how grown, how capable you become, I will always be a fellow soldier by your side.
I love everything about you. Thank you for being you. Thank you, God, for giving me this adventure I never knew I wanted. Thank you, God.