August 1, 2016


When my buddy was first born, I joined facebook and read every blog I could find because I wanted to know what life would really be like. I didn't know much about Down syndrome and I didn't actually know any people who had Ds. I was scared of the unknown. I learned about the medical side of things from pamphlets and doctors. I craved to hear what moms had to say. I couldn't imagine this life and I just wanted to know what to expect.

There were two bits of information that I learned that I had never considered and I harped on in my mind. One was about potty training and the other was about speech. When I first stumbled across information that some 5 year olds weren't potty trained and wore diapers to kindergarten... it rocked my world. I have no idea why this hit me so hard. Then I heard about kids who were nonverbal. This word wasn't even part of my vocabulary. I remember whispering into my buddy's baby ear, "please just talk some day."

Fast forward 7 years and I have a son who is not potty trained and is mostly nonverbal. And you know what? It's not a big deal at all. The potty training business is just part of life and I only notice it when I have to change his nervous poop standing up in the dentist's tiny bathroom or have to cancel the afternoon at the pool because he's had some loose poops and I don't want to be responsible for the 'code brown'.

While my buddy can name objects, say hello to friends, ask for food and get his basic point across he is very hard to understand and often can't answer simple questions. He can't tell me how his day was. He can't tell me if someone was nice to him or mean to him. He can't tell me his favorite anything. Even with all those verbal limitations, my buddy is hysterical. No one makes his sisters laugh more than him. And when he does say something unexpected, it's that much sweeter.

I don't know why I had those fears. Probably just because they were unknowns. I couldn't imagine what it would feel like or look like. While life with my buddy will never be described as easy, it is full of joy, laughter, love, acceptance and happiness... and that is worth a thousand easys.

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