A Letter to My Son on His 7th Birthday

child with down syndrome 7 years old birthday

Happy 7th Birthday, Noah!


It’s hard to believe your seven years old today! I can remember in vivid detail the moment I heard our pediatrician say those words, “he has features consistent with Trisomy 21.” I had no idea what life was going to be like raising a child with Down syndrome. I was a new parent. I had no idea how to be a parent, much less a parent of a child with special needs.

I don’t think I had ever met a person with Down syndrome before I met you. I was scared. I was fearful. I was worried. I was sad. I was surprised. I had a mix of emotions. If I had a time machine I’d go back in time and tell myself that all of that worrying was in vain. I can honestly say these past seven years have been the best seven years of my life.

boy with down syndrome and his dad

I’m so proud of the (not) so little boy you have become. You work (and have worked) to hit all of your milestones. You’ve spent countless hours at various therapies working hard to do what comes naturally to most other kids. I remember watching you trying to take steps on a treadmill as a tiny little boy, just waiting for you to walk on your own. Now, our problem isn’t that you can’t walk, it’s that you can….fast…so fast that we have to keep a constant eye on you to make sure you don’t run away when we’re out and about.

I love watching how the other kids treat you at school. They don’t view you as “the kid with Down syndrome,” but as their friend. They are kind to you. They play with you. They love you. I love how you fit right in. Sure, you can’t talk as well as they do, or do all of the same the things that they can do, but you never skip a beat. You jump right in with and try your hardest to keep up. I love that about you.

birthday gifts child with special needs

Noah, your joy is contagious. I love your smile, your hugs, and the way you love to sing and dance. I love watching how much joy you get out of having people sing Happy Birthday to you, how much you enjoy blowing out candles, and how much fun you have ripping into the wrapping paper of your gifts.

boy with down syndrome blowing out birthday candles

birthday donuts campbell donuts richardson

Birthday Donuts!

It’s a ton of fun watching you play with your brothers. You’re such a great big brother, and you’re going to teach them lessons about life that they wouldn’t be able to learn if they didn’t have a brother like you.

There are no words to adequately describe how proud I am of you. It gives me so much joy to be your dad.

Noah, you’re a gift to our family.

I hope you have the best 7th birthday ever.


Your dad.

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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.


  1. beautyfull!

  2. Deborah M White says

    Love Noah’s Special Cupcake Birthday Donuts. He is so adorable & seems very happy. So much love & well taken care of. A Special Gift chosen just for your family.

  3. Happy 7th Birthday Noah, I love following your story on Facebook, and watching you grow up into a handsome young man. You are a true gift from God, and are loved so much by Him, and a multitude of others, myself included.
    I pray this birthday will be filled to the brim, with lots of wonderful surprises. Please give all of your family a BIG hug, from me. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year also.
    God bless
    Judy Coldiron

  4. Happy 7th Birthday big guy!! Noah it has been so much fun watching you grow..and how much you love life..I am so thankful that your Dad and Mom are who they are..God knew where you all belonged..with each other..Rick you are such an awesome Dad and I love that you express how you feel about your son..So many times young boys/men don’t hear the words they long to hear..Noah never needs to worry. 🙂 Blessings to each of you and Noah I hope your day was Amazing..Just like you!!!! <3 <3 <3

  5. You 2 parents have and are doing so much around the world through Facebook to help other families who are unsure about having a child with special needs. I love reading your stories here in Scotland. X

  6. Mrs Natalie Holmes says

    This was emotional to read to know how much a dad loves his children and dates on them I had tears down my eyes
    You NOAH have to show your 2 little brothers that your the boss
    Enjoy Christmas and I’ve followed NOAH and raised money for down syndrome you inspire us xxx

  7. Chad Goyette says

    Hi, My name is Chad. I have a 17 year old son named Noah. When I first saw NOAH’S DAD that caught my attention. What kept my attention is that your son has Down syndrome. I too have a son with Down syndrome. He’s 10 months old and his name is Braydon. He has been a blessing to all of us Including his 3 big sisters. I appreciate you sharing your experiances with him openly for others to read. It helps me get an idea of what ill be looking forward to. Braydon is like the nucleus of our family. Whatever room he is in is the happy room where everyone is joking and Laughing and having fun. We are thankful for him. Thank you too Noahs dad. Chad

  8. What a beautiful letter. I have followed Noah since he was very small. You and your wife are amazing parents. It is very obvious how deeply you love your son. He is amazing!!!

  9. Rick Deerman says

    As always, this site is an encouragement to men like me. I read each post, and there is something I glean and it helps. I am exceptionally grateful for your family. I can not believe Noah is 7!!!! Crazy how fast life has moved. Happy Birthday Noah. You are loved by more people than you will ever know!

  10. Jessica abernathy says

    This brings tears to my eyes I really enjoy reading your letter to your son that you wrote for him that was really touching a joy watching you guys on Facebook in Noah he is a funny guy you guys stay bless keep God first in your lives and also happy birthday Noah hope you had lots of fun

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