When The Tears And Fears Are Replaced With Laughter And Joy (or) Another Reason I Love Being A Dad!

I seriously love every second of being a dad.

If only I could freeze time…

There are so many moments throughout the day that make me wish I could touch my fingers together and freeze time like Evie could on Out of This World. (Yelp, I totally just dated myself by making a referenceto that show, but I don’t care; that show was awesome!

freeze time and enjoy being a parent

I may have even had a slight crush on Evie!

I mean seriously, the internet wasn’t even around yet, and her dad lived in a glass cube…and carried moon beams home in a jar. How awesome is that!)

But seriously, I’m in awe of our little man; watching him grow and develop fascinates me to no end. I love learning something new about our son every day. Rather it be a new (and usually funny) facial expression, watching him achieve one of his developmental milestones, or just sitting back and observing him interacting with his environment. No matter what, I can’t get enough. I’m hooked on watching this little boy become who God has created him to be.

baby with down syndrome interacting with parents

I could do this all day!

 

It’s fun being a parent!

If only I had a time machine…

back to the future poster parenting what to say

Oh, what I would say to myself I could go back in time!

 

When Noah was born I knew very little about Down syndrome. In fact, pretty much everything I did know, I learned from watching TV which meant I had a lot of parenting fears that would never come true. One of my the biggest ones was that Noah was never going to be able to interact and play with me; you know, like a typical child.

Yelp, I’ll make another 80’s reference, and say I wish I had a time machine like Marty McFly on Back to the Future! Then I could go back in time and tell my sacred self what it would be like raising a child with Down syndrome only 11 months later. 🙂

As you can see in today’s video (if you’re reading this by RSS or email be sure to click the link to check out the post and watch / listen to today’s video) Noah is super interactive! Not only is he interactive, but he’s displaying another example of his intelligence by solving problems in creative ways.

child with down syndrome play with dad

Where's daddy...? There he is! 🙂

 

Problem: He can’t find his daddy (there’s a rubber ball in front of him.)

Solution: Move that ball, and get to daddy (and then laugh as adorable as posable!)

Pretty smart for an 11 month old, huh? Down syndrome or not. 🙂

The fear fades to joy…pretty fast!

If you’ve come across this blog and you’re a new or expecting parent of a child Down syndrome, you probably have some fears and worries about what the future may hold. You may even be scared that your child won’t play, laugh, and have fun with you like a typical child. You may even think having a child with Down syndrome means you’re going to miss out on many of the father / son moments you had imagined before receiving a Down syndrome diagnosis.

If that’s you, let me just encourage you with this; fear fades to joy very quickly for almost everyone I’ve meet that has raised a child with Down syndrome. Things most likely will be ok. You will almost certainly have decades of fun in your house.

father son down syndrome playing with ball

There's lots and lots of fun in this house!

 

And…if your child isn’t laughing yet, or you’re still having a hard time turn the volume up on today’s video (and play it on repeat if you have to) and know that one day all of those tears that may be streaming from your face today, will one day be replaced with the joyous sounds of laughter. And let me tell you, it’s a sweet, sweet sound. 🙂

One more thing, if you are a new parent be sure to check out the over 300 responses on what to say to someone who has just received a Down syndrome diagnosis. I think you’ll find that my experience isn’t unique. There are thousands of families who will say the exact same. 🙂

If you’re a parent, what’s one thing you wish you could go back and tell yourself when you first had your child?

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.

Comments

  1. Tina Marquez says:

    My husband and I decided not to do all those prenatal tests for Down syndrome because to both of us every child is wanted and special to us. I am amazed how my sister-in-law kept telling my mom-in-law, “why didn’t she get tested?”
    When our son, Greg, was in my womb the only thing different that I noticed was at times Greg was not very active and at times I would feel so great that I nearly forgot that I was pregnant. Also, on the sonogram I thought my son’s eyes were shaped a little differently. This was my fourth pregnancy so I knew what our experience was like with our three daughters before Greg.
    Anyway, Greg was born about two weeks early with jaundice (which I later learned is very typical for babies with Down syndrome). I was very nervous because my pediatrician at the time did not even suggest that Greg had Down syndrome. I actually made a request to our hospital to have Greg’s chromosomes tested!
    The anxiety of not being told what was really going on with my son was heart-breaking for my husband and me. No matter what my husband kept reassuring that we will love our son and treat him just like all of the rest of our kids.
    Looking back, June 19, 2007, I see how far Greg has gone and continues to grow through school, PT,OT, and ST. We’ve worked so hard. It certainly isn’t easy. Greg has had open heart surgery, liver biopsy for his severe jaundice, three ear tube surgeries and an eye surgery and one more eye surgery this coming Tuesday. It is a tough road. But, a joyful and sometimes a crazy, silly kind of road!
    Greg now has four sisters and a baby brother. You should see all the wild things Greg can get himself into just in one day. For instance, when I was gathering all my things for swimming Greg manages to throw mud in our suburban! Crazy kid! Oh how we love him so!!

    • Thanks for sharing!

      You guys have a big family, I bet you guys have a lot of fun! 🙂

      What grade is Greg in now? Where are you guys from?

      • Tina Marquez says:

        Greg will be in Kinder at Farine in Irving, TX. We are anxiously excited!! I really enjoy your website. What a proud dad you must be! Congratulations to your family! You know what?! One of my favorite things about my son, Greg, is that he gives the biggest and best hugs I’ve ever had!!!

        • Wow. Did you know we live in Irving!? Maybe we’re neighbors. Are you guys members of the Dallas Down Syndrome Guild?

          We need to get out kids together to play. 🙂

  2. I love that laugh. He does a funny dad.

  3. Jamie Mead says:

    LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!

    I have a nine month old AWESOMELY amazing son who just so happens to also have an extra chromosome! I love reading your stuff and seeing what the dapper little Noah is up to. He’s so freaking cute! I forwarded your site to a friend who just found out she GETS to join our club. You have brought her a lot of joy and confidence in her new journey. So, thanks for doing all the great stuff you do! You’re awesome too. 🙂

  4. Suzanne Moran says:

    I just love reading your posts. I only wish all parents of all children took as much joy from interacting with their children as you do with Noah. All dads and moms can learn a lot from you and your precious son.

  5. Thank you very much for the kind words Suzanne. We’re just two parents trying to love our child, other people, and our God the best way we know how. Some days we think we do ok, others not so much. 🙂

    Do you have any children?

  6. Amen! The fun just keeps on coming- the joy, the life perspective Bethany brings to our family is such a blessing!!! Enjoy every day and celebrate every milestone! Bethany was 7th in our family and one thing I’ve noticed- I wish I would have celebrated more and stressed less with all of our children!

  7. Tina Marquez says:

    Oh wow! I had no idea you guys live in Irving! What a small world! We’ve lived in the same home for over 10 years. Are you familiar with Nichols park in Irving? We live within walking distance. Maybe our families can meet? We enjoy the Dallas Down syndrome guild. I have met some very sweet families through the group.

    • That would be fun. I’m not sure where that park is, but I bet we can find it. We live by Irving Bible Church (if you know where that is..) It’s also where the Target, Babies R Us, etc is. We also have a monthly get together with other families of raising children with Down syndrome, some months it’s at our house, and other months we have it at another parent’s house. We’d love for you guys to come! 🙂

  8. Sonya B. Vasquez says:

    I love your website. It inspires me daily. Your son is beautiful, and your relationship is so special. We have a beautiful son named Lil Gene. He is now 15 months old and like you, he lights up our day. From the moment I hear him in the morning with his “fake” laugh..(which is adorable) until the moment he fall’s asleep in my arms.We are so happy with him and is here with us just as God intended him to be . I would not want him any other way. We live in Del Rio, Texas and myself and another mom will be starting our 1st Down Syndrome Support Group next Thursday. I am certainly going to suggest to new family’s to look to your website for support as well. Our kids are remarkable kids and they want and need EVERYTHING a “well” child needs. Thank you again for your amazing website. May God continue to bless you and your family!

    • Thanks for the kind words, and that is SUPER COOL that you guys are staring a Down syndrome support group in your area! Please be sure to keep us posted on how everything goes, and be sure to let us know if there is anything we can do to help!

  9. Tina Marquez says:

    We would love to meet all of you guys! Please let us know when!
    Are siblings included, we have six kiddos. Or do most people get a babysitter?
    Please email us: tinaandmichael1@verizon.net

    • Tina,

      I’ll send it over to my wife and our other friend who coordinates everything. People usually bring there children, but no one has 6! 🙂 Most the kids that come are smaller (0-3ish range) so the older kids may get bored…but what do I know. 🙂

      I’ll forward it along and someone will email you. By the way, are you guys on our Facebook page?

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