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6 Lessons My 2-Year-Old Son With Down Syndrome Has Taught Me

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Now that you’re 2 years old, I can’t help but think about our journey so far. When I found out I was going to be a mom, I naturally was excited and a little worried as well. I had so much to teach you, so much to show you and so much care to give you.

Meghan Swift's son

When I found out you had Down syndrome, my worries grew. How much would you be able to learn? How much would I be able to teach you? How much care would you need?

Today, all of those worries are gone. And as I sit here snuggling you, I realize how silly I was; I was only ever meant to learn from you. Here are the six lessons you’ve taught me:

1. Patience.

You have taught me to be more patient with myself, others and the world. Good things take time to amount to great things.

2. Acceptance.

You have taught me to truly see the best in all people and look past their disabilities and see what makes them unique — what makes them “them.” I see people every day look past your Down syndrome and see my bright, bubbly, loving son, Owen. And they all reach out to you, because they see “you.”

3. Determination and motivation.

Your daily determination — and stubbornness! — truly inspires me to set goals and work diligently to achieve them. Goals given to you by your therapists and family as well as goals you deem important are met head on and tackled at an impressive rate. You never stop reaching!

4. Strength.

You have shown me that strength really does come from inside oneself. That you may be weak, but you can do the “impossible” by channeling your inner strength. I have yet to meet a stronger warrior.

5. Sharing of love and happiness.

Love and happiness exude you. Whether through your beautiful smile or an enthusiastic wave hello, you’re constantly sharing your warmth and joy with everyone you meet. You have taught me that a simple smile to a stranger can brighten their day and mine. And so now, I keep my head up and I smile more.

6. Slowing down.

Every day you become curiouser and curiouser. You need to examine every toy, book, item and thing. How does it work? Where does it come from? How does it feel? How does it taste?

You point for me to bring you into every room of the house several times a day because each time you might see a book or toy you haven’t seen before.

You have taught me to slow down, soak it all in, “see” things I haven’t seen before, ask questions I haven’t asked before and feel things I haven’t felt before.

Because, when I take you, slung in my arms, to your wanted room — well, I might see how the light at that particular time of day, in that particular room, casts a shadow of you on the wall — a big, strong Owen holding me up and teaching and guiding me through life.

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one thing you thought on the day of your or a loved one’s diagnosis that you later completely changed your mind about? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Have you seen the first film with a national release to star a person with Down syndrome? Check out the film “Where Hope Grows” today!

Available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.

Originally published: April 6, 2016
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