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What Does It Mean to Have a Nephew With Down Syndrome?

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I was asked, “What is it like to have someone in your life with Down syndrome?” For a while, I thought about this question. How could I answer it truthfully? What is it like having someone with Down syndrome in your life? The more I thought about it the more I realized it is beautiful, it is love, and it is happiness.

When I found out my nephew was going to have Down syndrome, I had a split moment of grief. It was grief over how the world would treat him. I realized that I would be there for him even when or if the world wasn’t kind. The moment he was born I was in love, I saw the Halloweens we would have together, the Christmases we would have together. I saw all the trouble we would get into as partners in crime. I saw all the things that we were going to do together.

He has become one of my biggest allies, even though he never says a word. At 5 years old he is nonverbal, but his eyes say everything. They tell me he loves me, that he is happy and they tell me when he wants to get into trouble.

I couldn’t see my life without him in it and I mean it; he brings happiness, joy and above all else faith. I believe he was one of the biggest blessings to ever come into my family’s lives. Yes, there are times when medical conditions are scary, but I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

So to the question, “What’s it like having someone with Down syndrome in your life?” can only be answered one way: it is absolute joy!

Originally published: January 14, 2019
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