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The day my son was born is such an indescribable display of bright lights and dark bleakness that there is no word strong enough to describe it. But there is a word to describe the months and years that came after.

Happy.            
 
Over the years, I have learned so many things. I have met; I have inspired; I have been inspired; I have cried; I have been mad; and I have cherished, with everything that I possess in me, my son, who has Down syndrome. 

When we first started this journey together, there was nothing that could have prepared me for the heartache or the fear, that would take hold of me when the doctor first said "Your son has Down syndrome"....But, neither could the speaking of those words ever prepare me for the beauty, the joy, or the overwhelming love that I feel for my child.

We reached out to our followers and asked them "What have YOU learned through the years as a parent of a child with Down syndrome?" Here is what they had to say:

"To enjoy the simple things in life. To love unconditionally and dance no matter who's around. I'm still learning so much about life through my 26 year old son. He's the most kindest, funniest person I know. Loves all and doesn't know the word hate. We all should live through these adults/children with down syndrome. Life would be so peaceful!" ~Jennifer M.
"My Son Elijah is 10 years old. He has taught me so much about Love and I don't know what I would do without him. I love him so much. He is my Prince and my sweet Angel. I'm so thankful God sent Eli to me." ~ Chris M.
"I have learned so many things in the past 22 years. I have learned that our kids don't get enough credit in life and that they are very smart in many ways. Smart in ways that they can see the wrong and right in things that people do, they love unconditionally, a friend is always a friend even if they treat you bad. The more people in their lives the happier they are. I have learned to look beyond peoples faults and to see the good in everyone."   ~ Ellen A.
"Allow your child to be the best they can be, don't compare, grow a thick skin and enjoy every minute. Giving up is not an option." ~ Sharon R.
"Patience, understanding, unconditional love,how to advocate, to never accept no, to push the limits of expectations. These are only a few of the things I have learned from my 17 year old with Down syndrome." ~ Sheila B.
"I have learned how to love so deeply. How strong I can be and how protective I have become. I have learned a smile from my daughter can heal my heart and soul. I know the small things matter and we are not all perfect. She has made me a better person." ~ Deanna L. 
"The power of positive thoughts work wonders! My daughter has shown not just myself & our family but doctors and nurses not to put limitations on her. She has blown past every milestone and goal 6-9 months ahead of schedule. At almost 3 years old she can keep up with her twin without missing a beat. I couldn’t be prouder of her even with all her medical issues. She shows more strength than a 100 people combined." ~ Casey M.
"Perspective - having 2 kids with Down syndrome has taught me what's important in life." ~ Lorraine B.

"Never ever underestimate their abilities and your strength." ~ Tammy P.

"To let your inner light shine through in a smile with your eyes! My Johnny boy just lit up a room when he walked into it. He made so many friends and he made friends instantly. He passed away 3 years ago and I never stop missing him. He was a bright light while he was with us and made the world a better place while he was here. He taught me more than I could have ever taught him." Marion S.