Today was one of those days where I just sat in awe as I watched Noah play, grow, and develop. It’s so much fun watching him bang on blocks, sit up, laugh, and tries his hardest to crawl. He’s soooooooo close. Any day this little boy will be on the move….I can’t wait!
I love every second of being this little boy’s dad!
1 Parenting Lesson I’ll Never Forget
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with a friend, classmate, and former offensive tackle for the Denver Bronco’s just a few months before Noah was born. This friend of mine was doing a fantastic job of raising his two children, and as a new parent whenever a seasoned pro offers to give me parenting advice, I listen.
We discussed many different aspects of parenting that day, but there was one sentence my buddy told me that I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget:
“Whatever preconceived ideas you have about what your child will be like, I promise you, he will be totally different.”
Boy was my friend right.
That sentence was one of the first things that came to my mind when we found out that our son was born with Down syndrome. I’m glad he took the time to offer that piece of parenting advice to me, because that sentence gave (and still gives) me a lot of comfort. And it’s a great reminder to all of us parents (and soon to be parents) out there….parenting will never be 100%, totally, just like you expect it to be. Never.
And that’s ok.
When It Comes To Parenting, You Just Have To Dive In…Well Sort Of.
Of course neither my friend nor I knew that Noah would be born with 3 copies of his 21st Chromosome when we had that talk. He was simply making the point that parenting is nothing like we expect it to be before we have children. Down syndrome, or no Down syndrome. There’s no class, no weekend retreat, no seminar, no conference, no nothing that someone can go to in order to help them win at parenting.
They just have to dive in, and trust God. Or maybe that should be; trust God, and dive in.*
* I add an asterisk here to say that diving in to parenting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t prepare, and be responsible.. All of the above resources I mentioned above all all good tools, although none of them are the end all solution. Further, a child needs a stable environment. They need a mom and a dad. Trust me, I understand that sometimes in life things don’t always work out the way we intend for them to. Sometimes men don’t step up to the role they are called to fill. Sometimes women don’t. Sometimes people don’t take responsibility for creating a life. And that’s tragic. I could write much about this, but I digress….
Just please know when I say you have to dive-in to parenting there’s a huge asterisk attached.
Different Isn’t Difficult, It’s Just Different. And That’s Ok.
People (including me when Noah was born) often assume that raising a child with Down syndrome is more difficult than raising a typical child. I remind them that parenting in general is difficult. Parenting a child with Down syndrome doesn’t make it more difficultt per se, it just makes it different.
I’m sure some people will disagree with me. And that’s ok. Noah is our first (and as of today, only) child, and so different is all we know. Different is our normal. And we are ok with it. Very ok with it.
What’s one area of parenting that turned out to be totally different from what you thought it would be like before you had your first child?Share The Love: