The Unexpected 'More' Of My Daughter's Down Syndrome

The Unexpected ‘More’ Of My Daughter’s Down Syndrome

The-More-Of-Down-Syndrome-1
Courtesy of Shannon Striner

As moms in the world of special needs, we often use our voices to advocate for change. We don’t always share the joys, the blessings, and the gifts.

Here is what I want the world to know about life with Down syndrome.

Don’t feel sorry for me. My life is full of more.

When walking through the grocery store, I get more smiles from strangers. People stop to look at my daughter. They look at me and say she’s beautiful. They tell me I’m blessed.

I get more.

Here is what I want the world to know about life with Down syndrome: Don’t feel sorry for me. My life is full of more.

I get more time. My daughter is three, and it’s easy to look at her peers and focus on what she’s not doing. I choose to see the beauty in the long and winding road less traveled.

I get more.

I get more time in each stage of childhood. I get more time to be her safe place. It took her longer to walk. It took her longer to talk. Sure, it’s more work. It’s also more gratifying when she reaches a goal.

I get more.

I celebrate more. I witness everyday miracles. Yesterday, she crawled on her own without me forcing it. I watched as she learned to trust the muscles in her hands. This is something we’ve worked on for years. My eyes puddled with tears and I embraced the reward of hard work paying off.

I get more.

I worried she’d never make friends. As she began school, the kids accepted her with pure hearts. They hold her hand, run to hug her, and shout her name. It means more than anyone could understand.

Courtesy of Shannon Striner

I get more.

I’ve made connections and friendships in the Down syndrome community that are powerful. I’ve cried in another mom’s arms in grief as she held me and told me she understood because she’d been there too.

I get more.

I have more people cheering on and celebrating my kid on a weekly basis than some get in a lifetime.

I’ve watched my older daughter accept and embrace differences. I’ve watched her patience, empathy, and understanding bloom before my eyes. She has become a better person because of her sister.

I get more.

I’ve presented to hundreds of students about awareness. I’ve witnessed them grasp her challenges. I’ve had the privilege of watching compassion form through understanding right before my eyes.

I get more.

My friends have stepped up in countless ways to support our family. They’ve surrounded us with love, connection, and compassion. My friendships have flourished in ways I never envisioned. When you’re given an invitation to be vulnerable, you bond with people on a more meaningful level.

I get more.

I’ve met amazing therapists and teachers. I have more people cheering on and celebrating my kid on a weekly basis than some get in a lifetime.

I get more.

Don’t feel sorry for my family. Yes, there are more hardships and sacrifices. But that’s the thing about hard work. When it pays off, it’s gratifying. The storms in our lives make us better people. We experience more joy, fulfillment, and kindness. We’ve learned so much about the gifts of humanity and compassion.

We get more.

 

We are Scary Mommies, millions of unique women, united by motherhood. We are scary, and we are proud. But Scary Mommies are more than “just” mothers; we are partners (and ex-partners), daughters, sisters, friends… and we need a space to talk about things other than the kids. So check out our Scary Mommy It’s Personal Facebook page. And if your kids are out of diapers and daycare, our Scary Mommy Tweens & Teens Facebook page is here to help parents survive the tween and teen years (aka, the scariest of them all).