Sometimes my Down syndrome son is not where he’s supposed to be but the story of missing him can end with a smile. In the process of writing last month about losing track of one’s child and the horror of “whereabouts unknown”, additional life stories of ours also came to mind. These stories have to do with learning about my son’s thinking, appreciating its literalness, and perhaps even how he outsmarts us all.
I Can’t Find My Baby!
If we’d known how much we were going to enjoy him, those first few “down syndrome days” would have been very different. It isn’t that I thought we might not enjoy him, but in those first few days there was so much unknown that it did feel like we were navigating a bit of a bumpy sea. We had listened to experts for 6 months telling us about various physical and mental conditions of our expected Down syndrome son. But then he did live to survive birth so we had to move on quickly to what might come next. There were a lot of less-than-optimal outcomes in this next set of predictions as well. But the days ticked by and our boy beat all those odds so we’ve just enjoyed him ever since.
At Christmastime, we remember the reason for all the world’s joy. And celebrate the day He became a small boy.
The beginning of the life of Christ began the lessons that we learn from Him in mortality. He taught often by telling stories that invited listeners to connect eternal principles with their everyday lives. My daughter has noticed how scenes from her everyday life with our Down syndrome son connect to help her understand some Christian eternal principles.
Weigh the sentiment that the unknown can be fearful against finding things to be thankful for (since this is November) and perhaps we can see how giving birth to a child with Down syndrome brought me to what might be similar conclusions to those of the original pilgrims on that first Thanksgiving: all the troubles aren’t over, there is a lot of hard work yet to do, but it is by the hand of God that we have gotten through some dark days, so let’s give thanks for the bountiful things we see that He also provides here.