Thursday, September 30, 2010

What is life like for a child with Down syndrome?

Often, when people ask me "Do you have children?" or "How many kids do you have?" that usually ends up with me talking about my kids...which often leads to me mentioning that one of our twins has Down syndrome.   That bit of information usually results in an "Awhh"  from them.  Which really is their way of saying "too bad".  Can I tell you how much I HATE that!!!!! 
When I think of Braden and his life I never think "Awhh". 

People are always concerned with what kind of quality life could he have?  And I have to tell you --- he has the same quality of life that each of my other kids have!  He lives in the same home, goes to the same places, eats the same food, has the same pets.  I know what they mean... is it so hard to live with this condition that they would never want to live a life like that.  Like it would be a life not worth living. 

But I think your quality of life doesn't boil down to what you know or what career you have.  What you own or the number of zeros in your bank account.

I think it is about how you feel each day as you lay your head down to sleep at night.  I think it is about what made you smile that day.  Who loved you and who did you love.  It's about ice cream and rainbows.  Swimming and swing sets.  Having some one to kiss your boo boos. I think it's about sledding and hot chocolate.  Campfires and s'mores.  I think it is about snuggling under blankets and watching your favorite movie.  I think it's about throwing snowballs and eating snow. 

I think it is about

being nutured

and belonging to a family

about being adored

and celebrated

It's about feeling the salty sea breeze

and splashing in water til your soaking wet

It's about enjoying your favorite foods

and cheering for your favorite team

It's about special outings to the zoo

and building sand castles

It's about dressing up in cheesy, homemade Halloween costumes

and reading a good book

It's about driving your truck in the sandbox

and saying your prayers

It's about slides

and brothers

and rock climbing

and holding a newborn

It's about having trick candles on your birthday cake

and having best friends

So, I say there is no "Awh" here.  Nothing to be pitied or felt sorry for.
What is life like for a child with Down syndrome?
Take a look at his face.

Take a look and see.

I see happiness.
and love.
and fun.
I see a life definately worth living!