When I Look at My Son With Down Syndrome


Do you ever have those moments that take your breath away — in a good way? An intense and almost overwhelming surge of emotion. Perhaps a first kiss? Or seeing your newborn baby for the first time?   

I had one of these moments today. It happened when I was looking at my 7-month-old son, Augie. It wasn’t the first time I felt intense emotions while looking at his sweet face and into his dark blue eyes. But today, it felt like a culmination of emotion from the last seven months. The ups and downs that have marked the start of his journey — our journey. From ER visits, extended hospital stays, surgeries, sickness to snuggles, gummy smiles, giggles and achieving milestones.

With these emotions came a strong desire to capture this moment forever. To take all the words and emotions out of my head and onto paper. To have something that can always remind me of my feelings in the first year of being Augie’s mom. And so I wrote it all down. What I see. What I wonder. What I hope for. What I know. And what I feel. All when I look at this precious boy — my son — with Down syndrome.

baby wearing a hat

When I look at you …

I see dark blue eyes so inquisitive and expressive. 

I see the sweetest button nose where I love to give Eskimo kisses.

I see soft baby hair that sticks up everywhere. Your signature look, I call it.

I see chubby cheeks, great for Momma’s smooches.

I see a scar down your chest from open-heart surgery. Proof that you are strong. A gentle warrior, I say.

I see wiggling arms reaching for, playing with and exploring the world around you.

I see strong legs, kicking, bearing weight and pushing yourself over. Legs that will someday run and climb. I see two tiny feet and 10 tiny toes that I know are a bit ticklish.

I see your hands brought together and your fingers intertwined, almost like you are praying.  

And, I see a smile that can warm my heart like nothing else.

I see beauty. Pure and perfect.

When I look at you …

I wonder what you are thinking.

I wonder if you know how much you are loved.  

I wonder what tomorrow will bring and then remind myself that today is what matters.  

I wonder if I’m doing all the right things for you.

I wonder how I got so lucky to be your mom.

And, I wonder if I’m a good enough mom for you. 

When I look at you …

I hope you reach for the stars.

I hope you accomplish your dreams.

I hope you fall in love.

I hope you are kind and accepting of all people.

I hope those same people accept you just as you are.

I hope you find joy in all things.

And, I hope I never lose you. 

When I look at you …

I know you will do great things.

I know you have already changed me for the better. And will continue to do so.

I know you will make me proud. You already have.

I know we are a team.

And, I know we will learn together.

I know I will always be by your side, until you tell me otherwise. I also know this will happen, someday.

When I look at you …

I feel protective.

I feel love, deep and true.

I feel peace.

I feel joy.

And, I feel honored to be your mom. 

I love everything about you. More than I can ever put into words.

Follow this journey at Finding Balance

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Related to Down Syndrome

mom and dad with baby lying on a blanket outside

What Awareness Means to Me as a Father of a Son With Down Syndrome

When our son, Jude, was given a probable diagnosis of Down syndrome about half-way through my wife Nicole’s pregnancy (we didn’t confirm it until he was born), she and I began doing research. We didn’t know much about it, so learning quickly became a top priority for us. Much to our relief, there is no shortage of [...]
Madeline Stuart gets her makeup done

Backstage at New York Fashion Week With Madeline Stuart

Backstage at the Manhattan Center, Madeline Stuart is practicing her runway walk. The 19-year-old darts between hordes of models, many of whom, at 6-feet-tall, tower over her petite frame. While any other person might be intimidated, Stuart, now walking at her third New York Fashion Week, doesn’t bat an eye. Stuart may not be the only model with [...]
Family Dollar Store Storefront

Man With Down Syndrome Sues Family Dollar After Being Forced to Leave Store

John F. Garcia, a 50-year-old man with Down syndrome, is suing Family Dollar Stores of Colorado after he and a group of developmentally disabled adults were repeatedly asked to leave the Pueblo, Colorado, branch of the discount retail chain. On September 17, 2014, Garcia and a group of other developmentally disabled adults went to their local [...]
baby with down syndrome with breathing tube in

When You Are Always on High Alert for Your Medically Complex Child

When Judah was born almost two years ago, I was reeling. I learned he had Down syndrome at birth. Like most parents with a fresh diagnosis will tell you, it feels like it wrecks you — some more than others, of course. At the time, I was devastated. As I was carefully adjusting to our [...]