From the moment I first laid eyes on you my heart was overwhelmed with joy. I remember thinking over and over in my hospital bed the night you were born, We have a son!
Daddy had gone home to sleep, to be with the older girls, and I was alone with my thoughts. The nurses took extra good care of us that night. I had lost a lot of blood and was too weak to get out of bed, so they washed me and took you to the nursery so I could get some sleep. I woke up the next morning eager to hold you and begin our new life together.
The Doctor came in, placed you in my arms, and shared with me his suspicion that you had Down Syndrome. I don’t remember very much of our conversation, but I do remember cradling you in my arms, kissing your cheeks, and bathing your sweet face with my uncontrollable tears.
I was afraid, Mason.
Afraid that I wouldn’t know how to be your Mommy.
I didn’t know much about Down Syndrome. Only that I had a friend in first grade, Sarah, who had it. I would push her on the swing, and I went to her teddy bear tea party. She was different, though. She looked different, talked differently, and I remembered that she hadn’t had very many friends.
As I began to find out more about Down Syndrome, I learned there could be a lot that might be hard for you–things like eating, learning how to roll over, crawling, and talking. Later on in life, going to school, driving, and being able to live by yourself some day would all be issues that might be difficult and maybe even impossible for you.
These were not the things I had dreamed for you.
I was sad, Mason.
Sad that your life might not be as good or rich or fulfilling as someone else’s.
I’m sorry, buddy. I’m sorry that there are things in life that are difficult for you. If I could make it easier I would.
I’m sorry for not always understanding what you want to tell me. Thank you for trying, though.
I love it when you pull on my pant leg and say “‘Um’mon, Mama,” when you have something to show me. You know what you want, there’s no question about that, and in your own way you make that known. I’m doing my best to interpret what you say.
I love the way you describe ice cream, with your hands crossed over your chest, saying “Brr“. We want you to keep describing things as best you can. This gives us glimpses into your heart and mind and we are so thankful for those windows.
I enjoy sitting on the porch with you in the afternoon as we wait for the girls to walk home from school. Your delight in every single school bus never gets old. “Doo dus, Mama!” And if I don’t respond, you keep telling me until I acknowledge you. Son, I will try to always delight in the things that bring you joy.
You love to pray with us. I have to admit there are many times when I watch you while Daddy is praying. I love to see your face scrunched up with your eyes closed, your hands folded in front of you. I love to watch your lips move as you repeat any words that you recognize. I have no idea what you understand, but you know enough to get that God is important. And I really think you trust Him. You especially like to hear the name Jesus, and you say His name more distinctly than almost any other word.
Sometimes you drive me crazy, boy! What is it about your shoes that you just can’t stand? No sooner do we get in the car than you yank off your shoes, sometimes throwing them into the back of the van. I’ve given up on making you wear socks because it just takes more time. You know what, though? As much as it irritates me, I think I would miss it if you stopped.
You have such a teasing nature. You get this from your Daddy, and it is so fun! I love the way you peer around the door of the kitchen, catch my eye with a twinkle in yours, smile, and then turn off the light. You giggle and I ask you to please turn the light back on. It’s our little game and I love it. You understand how to tease and play and we are so glad you interact with us in this way.
You love people. Everywhere we go you say Hi and wave and smile to those around you. Kindness pours from you and people are drawn to you as a result.
You are the best, kid!
I may have been afraid about being your Mommy, but you are making it easier than I ever thought possible.
There are still times when I get sad for you, but those times are fewer. Because I see the great potential that God has given you. And I know that no matter what your life might hold, it’s going to be a good life. Because God does good things.
This doesn’t mean things aren’t hard and sure, there will be moments of grief and heartache along the way. But you have proven to me that even in the midst of these challenges, we are better because we have you.
And I pray that you will be better because you have us.
“I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
This verse from Psalms has hung in your room from the beginning, and it is the truth. We praise God for you because when He made you He made a good and beautiful boy.
I love you, Mason. Never, ever, did I question my love for you. And it only grows deeper with each passing day.