Two years ago I got the opportunity to write an article for a magazine called Celebrating Exceptional Children. I was so honored to be in that magazine and I was blown away at some of the emails I received from other parents across the Commonwealth. As I take this week to celebrate David and all his other buddies on Facebook, I just wanted to repost this article because it is written from my perspective as a mother raising sweet David:)
As I walk this emotional, amazing, and joyful path as a parent of a child with special needs, I often want to share my wish with the people who surround me. I want them to know how it truly feels to parent this extraordinany person that God has put into my life. It is so hard to express in quick phrases and cliches, but if I ever had the time or words to look someone in the eye, this is how I would explain this amazing journey.
My wish is that when someone looks at my sweet David they will see that he is wonderfully made by our Creator, and know that he does not pity or feel sorry for David, so please do not either. Celebrate the victories and take the opportunity to learn the sweet life lessons that come with David such as unconditional love, patience, humility, and uninhibited hope for tomorrow.
Pardon me if I tear up over a milestone or success that often goes unnoticed with typical developing peers. Often the victory is sweeter when the battle has been hard. My hopes for his future mirror any Mom's, in that I want my son to know how to love and to be accepted by those around him.
Please excuse the cleanliness of my house and the weeds in my flower beds. Often my days are spent collaborating with all the professionals that work with David on a daily basis. My priorities have changed dramatically since God blessed us with David as I am now his self-appointed CSCE (chief service collaborater and expert-I totally made us this term)! No one knows my son as well as I do, so I am on call to assist David's team anytime, and often I get called away from the flower beds to do so.
Do not judge my child based on a number on a piece of paper or scores on a test. My child is like none other and deserves to be treated as such. He may share characteristics with other children, but let me tell you, he is like no other. He cuddles in a way that makes my heart sing. His voices will forever reverberate in my head as each syllable he speaks has been such a victory to attain. His smile will melt the coldest heart, and often I cannot tear my eyes away from this little red-headed wonder that came bounding into my life almost four years ago.
When he was born, the doctor solemnly shared the "news" with us and from that moment on, I have carried the knowledge in my heart that I was the one chosen to mother this angel baby. I will never understand why I was chosen by God to mother David and walk this journey with him. My wish is that you will always know that this journey with David is often uphill, rocky, and paved with sweat and tears, by oh the company is so wonderful, the view is breathtaking and the valleys make the mountains so much sweeter.
Happy Down Syndrome week and please feel free to join us Sunday, Ocotber 17th at 2:00 at First United Methodist Church in Marion for our 4th annual Buddy Walk!! This is just a fellowship opportunity to raise awareness of Down Syndrome and to celebrate the local angels with DS. Fundraising is not apart of this event. Please wear yellow and blue and bring a snack to share:)