For the last seven years, March 21 has rolled around and brought with it a range of emotions and thoughts.
World Down Syndrome Day, so chosen because Down syndrome is genetically, a third copy of chromosome 21. 3/21. I know, it only works if you’re an American and write the date like that, but there you go. We also get Pi day for the same reason and you can’t argue with a mathmatical excuse to eat pie.
The first couple of years, I remember so clearly, how much I hated knowing such a day exisited and at the same time was desperate to let the world know how much we loved our boy, gosh darn it. We “celebrated” with forced glee and broken hearts.
And then, like every mom of an older kid with Ds said, around age three, it became real. We found real joy, and actually celebrated this odd chromosone that gave us our Jack Jack. I realized that being this kid’s parent was what I was made for and just what our family needed.
And now, it almost goes by unnoticed. Down syndrome doesn’t get much air time anymore in our thoughts or conversations. I’ve moved on from babycenter.com groups of trying to figure out how to be a mom of a kid with special needs, to, being a mom of three kids, all of whom have different learning styles, different personalities and different challenges. He fits right in with the rest of this crazy circus. We’ve spent longer on potty training and the alphabet, then with his siblings, but less time on table manners, people skills and teaching emphathy.
A favorite author, Sarah Bessey, wrote recently in her blog about her youngest baby turning one. It captures my thoughts perfectly. She says this:
You disrupted my plans and my life, my expectations and my trajectory, my sleep and my career, my practices and my methods, and I am so much stronger and more compassionate, more fully myself, because of you. You are the holiest interruption of my life so far and I want to rise to be your mother.
Jack Jack, you were unexpected, the day you were born with almond shaped eyes and blue lips. You turned everything upside down and now, sitting in the middle of this “disruption” seven years later, I can say with unfiltered gladness, how great it is to celebrate you and all the people in the world that have a little extra chromosome and all of my heart.