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The Apology I Owe My Son 3 Years After His Diagnosis

I walked into a shop with our week-old baby boy nestled into my shoulder. One of the shop assistants ran over and squealed with delight, “That is the most gorgeous baby I have ever seen in my life!”

I smiled at her but, in my head, I wondered if she would have said that if she knew he had Down syndrome.

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I took a thousand photos of him and each one I pondered over, deciding which to post on social media. I deliberated over which photographs didn’t make his “disability” quite so obvious.

As I woke up each morning following the diagnosis, I experienced a sinking feeling in my stomach as I remembered, yet again, our baby was now labeled with a “chromosomal abnormality.” I’d never asked for this to happen to us.

Now, as I wake up each morning, three years on, seeing my son’s beautiful face and hearing that little voice call out, “hello” is the highlight of my day.

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Now, I look back at those squishy newborn photographs and see how perfect he was. And still is.

Now, I wonder how we got so lucky.

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To my beautiful boy,

I hope you know how lucky we think we are to have you in our lives. I hope you didn’t notice when you were tiny and we spent too much time gazing at your almond-shaped eyes, noticing their difference instead of their beauty, and worrying how Down syndrome would fit into our world.

I hope you always know how loved you are. By us. By your extended family. By your tribe. I hope you forgive us for when we were so caught up in a diagnosis we forgot about the perfect baby right in front of our eyes. I hope you know how often , because we have been rewarded with such an awesome light in our lives.

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We are so lucky, buddy. Oh so lucky.

A version of this post originally appeared on the Mummalove Facebook page

The Mighty is asking the following: What’s one unexpected source of comfort when it comes to your (or a loved one’s) disability and/or disease? If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to community@themighty.com. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our “Share Your Story” page for more about our submission guidelines.

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