To My Child With Down Syndrome, I’m Sorry

by Nicole DiGiacomo
Nicole DiGiacomo

I’m sorry. I’m sorry I was ever afraid. I’m sorry I was ever anxious or worried. I’m sorry I was so unsure. I’m sorry that I thought I wasn’t ready. I’m sorry that I ever doubted for a single second if I would love you as fully as I do. I’m sorry that I grieved for the child I thought I would have, because my love, you are so much more than any child I could have dreamed up. I’m sorry that it took me until you were in my arms to see that.

I’m sorry that sometimes I get frustrated at the slower pace we are at. I’m sorry that I have tried to rush you. Because my darling, I wouldn’t want to move any faster than we are. I wouldn’t want to skip over a single moment, or rush a single milestone, or take away a single second of you being exactly who you are every minute of every day.

No matter how slow things might seem while they are happening, in the blink of an eye I am somehow writing this for your third birthday. I don’t understand how you’ve gotten so big, so independent. You don’t need me to carry you as much, there are no more bottles to hold, or meals to feed; you can do all of that on your own now. You don’t need me a little bit more every day, and in those moments I am so thankful I get you at each age just a little while longer.

You are learning to sign. You drink through any straw you can find. You are getting the hang of using a spoon. You dance to any beat, especially your own. You are so funny, my dear. You can stack things, and you can tear them down twice as fast. You say bye-bye, papa, down, eat, done, and every once in a while I think I catch you say mama. You give the best hugs and kisses, you are learning to run and go up stairs, you are losing your baby fat.

In a few short weeks, you start school and I know things will never be the same after that. The years will go by faster, summer breaks will blur with first days of school, elementary school will blur with junior high, which will blur with high school, and hopefully college. I will miss my baby a little more each day and fall in love with the young man I am going to meet even more.

I am so sorry I ever felt like I did not want to be a special needs parent because I am so thankful that you chose me to call mom. I love that 47th chromosome more than anything else in this world. You are the best part of my world. You are my happy place, my heart, and my home. I have never laughed so hard, cried from joy so deeply, loved so fully.

You are so strong, so brave, so determined. To watch someone so small fight so hard to do things we see as simple, things we take for granted, things like feeding ourselves, walking, even talking, it changes you. It makes you more humble, kinder, more willing to sit back and enjoy life. You, my son, have changed me. I am a better person because of you. So now, on your third birthday, I tell you I am sorry for every negative thought I had and I thank you for teaching me, for loving me, for growing with me.

Happy birthday, baby. Momma loves you.