Friday, March 15, 2019
Every day, I see my little superhero getting bigger right before my eyes. He has had quite a growth spurt this year, in height as well as in cognitive development. He still has some impulsive behaviors, but his academic achievements have taken a big leap. He is reading at a higher level, finally gaining some headway on his writing skills, and continuing to wow us with his speech and comprehension. To say I am proud of him is an understatement. As with each new birthday, there is a sense of pride and excitement at his growth, as well as a sadness as my baby becomes less of a baby.
I had a conversation the other day with someone I was meeting for the first time. When I mentioned that my firstborn had Down syndrome, it read on her face that she felt very sorry to hear that. My immediate reaction was to tell her how it was so hard at first, but that I truly am so thankful he was born exactly the way he was. I want people to understand that. I want to shout it from the rooftops. He has changed me into someone fully better than I was before. He makes me feel like I have a purpose. Yes, he also challenges me. Advocating for him and working through the challenges are an almost full time job. There are stresses on me that are above and beyond what most parents have, but even so, I wouldn't change a thing about my reality. What I would change is the system that doesn't support him and the people who don't see his worth - I am working to change those things, in small ways, every day.
Ari, I see you. I see how hard you try. I see that huge, special heart inside that shines out so brightly. I enjoy you. You make me laugh with the funny things you say and do. I love the way you love to dress up in costumes, or naked dance with your sister. I love how you are passionate about whatever thing is your favorite at the moment. Right now, it is Wizard of Oz (you haven't seen the movie, but did watch the ballet, and are performing it with your own ballet class). I love that you want to be a superhero or an astronaut. I love how truly great you are at golfing...I can't wait to see you develop that skill as you get older. You make me crazy when you tell me I can't sing certain songs or certain parts of songs...you know you can't tell your mama not to sing! You have been telling me more than usual lately that you love me so much...it makes my heart warm. You and Violet like to play a game where I am a baby fox, and you are my daddy. You are so gentle and sweet as the daddy. Too bad you won't have any more baby siblings, because you would be amazing with them. I just want to say again that I am so happy you are mine and I am so proud of the boy you have become. Happy Happy Birthday!!
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