Why I Treasure the 'Messy Days' as Mother of a Child With Down Syndrome


These are the messy years of motherhood for me.

Strips of paper with scribbles on them are strewn about the house. So are wet socks, dirty diapers, overly-loved books, and LEGOs.

My three vivacious children create such a constant eruption of clatter that the neighbor often comments on the chaos.

These may also be some of the most magical years of motherhood.

My type-A personality and independent spirit sometimes prevents me from fully embracing the mess that is motherhood. Still, I’m starting to realize my magical days may be numbered.

Our son, Troy, has Down syndrome.

We talk about Down syndrome often in passing, but it enjoys a backseat to the wildness of having three kids under 5 years old.

Troy’s typical twin brother, Hunter, seems immune to the term. Our baby girl, Cora, blissfully loves and hates Troy in any given moment throughout the day.

We live in a bubble. A safe and simple safe-space.

In our day-to-day life, no one seems to care about Down syndrome.

We love Troy; he loves us. It’s that simple.

But children grow, and life gets complicated. Down syndrome morphs into school placement, IEPs, LRE, FAPE, inclusion or exclusion. Kids question. Teachers negotiate. Parents complain. Our family bubble takes on a slow leak.

So this Mother’s Day I wish to cherish and immortalize these days.

I wish to remember these days as I fight to have Troy included in school, community, and work. The simple, messy days where everyone is ignorant to the brutal world that sometimes overtakes unique families like ours.

These are the days!

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Thinkstock photo by Yaruta.


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