One of my biggest fears when I first learned that Noah was born with Down syndrome was that I wouldn’t get to do all of the fun things dads got to do with their sons. Did children with Down syndrome still like to play? Did they like toys? Did they laugh, smile, and have fun? Would Noah want to play on my iPad one day? Would he even be able to use an iPad? I had no idea what to expect. As a dad, it was one of the scariest moments of my life.
(Spoiler alert: it was a very short moment!)
Down Syndrome Is More Than A Character On T.V.
My only knowledge about what it was like for someone to live with Down syndrome came from Corky on Life Goes On, and Becky on Glee. Apart from that I was left with an imagination full of false assumptions about what it was going to be like raising a child with Down syndrome. I guess you could say I wondered if Noah having Down syndrome meant I was going to miss out on some of the best things about being a dad.
If you are a new parent reading this I’ll get straight to the point; boy was I ever wrong! This kid loves to play! In fact I have a hard time getting anything done because of how much fun this little boy is! His personality, his smile, his laugh, the way he likes to roll around on the floor to get my attention; it’s wonderful! I can’t get enough of him!
By the way I purposely used past tense verbs on the title of today’s post, everything I knew about Down syndrome I learned from watching tv, for a reason….because it’s past tense. I now have more experience with Down syndrome than what I learned by watching Glee and Life Goes On (I think those shows are helpful by the way in that they help the world get an inside look at the life of a teenager living with Down syndrome.) So as you read our blog and hear story after story about how great Noah makes our life, please know I speak from experience. Not only that, I’m also hoping to give the world an inside look at what life is like for a family raising a child born with Down syndrome. My hope is you’ll see our family is much more normal then un-normal. (By the way, I’m still trying to figure out what the world normal means as it relates to a family….I think every family has a little weird in them….and that’s ok!)
It’s been over a year since we brought Noah home from the hospital; I wish I could go back in time and tell myself not to stress out. Not to worry. That I wouldn’t miss out on anything. That I’d be able to do all the things that any dad would hope to do with their son! (Actually a little more considering how often we get to go to physical therapy!)
I wouldn’t change one little chromosome on this boy.
As you can in today’s video we’re in the process of moving into our new house, which means we have a lot of work to do. Tonight I had planned on getting my office unpacked while mom was at work….But Noah had other plans. I’m pretty sure he was thinking,
“Let’s play! Let’s play! Look at me roll! Look at me play with this box! Look at me play with the dog! Let’s play! Let’s play!”
And so we did.
To parents of children born with Down syndrome, what where were some of the misconceptions you had when you first started on this journey? To everyone else; what are some of your assumptions about people with Down syndrome? Don’t worry, you can be honest. I knew almost nothing about Down syndrome when Noah was born, and I’m thankful there were people in my life who were gracious enough to help me learn (and didn’t make me feel like a jerk when I said something inaccurate, and possibly even hurtful.) One this I hope this website does is help people become more aware about Down syndrome, and what life is like for families raising children with Down syndrome. Every child is unique, but hopefully between our daily one minute videos, the interaction from people in the comments, and hanging out on our Facebook page, we (and by we I mean the thousands of families who are on this same journey) can help the world do away with the inaccurate stereotypes, and move forward with a more clear and accurate picture of what raising a child with Down syndrome is like.