Down syndrome from a father's perspective.

Seven reasons I am thankful for Down syndrome.

Do you believe me or do you think I am full of it? Are you reading this post because you have seen the blessings of Down syndrome or is it all so new to you that you can’t imagine seeing the good in the extra-chromosome? Well, I tend to be on the cynical side of things and can be prone to be suspect about posts like this myself so I understand if you are leaning toward “full of it” group.

I don’t know where I’m going but I sure know where I’ve been.

Can you name that song? Maybe the group that sang it? Think eighties hair-band – it was released in 1982 and then again in 1987 to be exact…..The group is Whitesnake and the name of the song is “Here I Go Again.” I was 14 years-old in 1987 and worked at an ice cream parlor that summer. I had a moped that I rode around and thought I knew a lot about life.

I have always loved the melodramatic chorus to this song, it says: “Here I go again on my own, goin’ down the only road I’ve ever known, like a drifter I was born to walk alone an’ I’ve made up my mind I ain’t wasting no more time.” I remember singing that song at the top of my lungs as I cruised the open roads at 30 mph on my moped.

Being able to say, “I am thankful for Down syndrome,” has been a journey; one I never intended on taking. I had no idea where I was headed either but now that I have a few years of perspective I have found some things that cause me to give thanks. I anticipate that this list will change over time as new circumstances and growth opportunities present themselves.

The list of Down syndrome thanksgiving.

1

I am thankful for Treyton. Although Down syndrome did not give me Treyton I have never known him without Down syndrome in the picture. I love life with Treyton and would never want it any other way.

2

I am thankful for a new understanding about what it important in life. Because Treyton’s future is something other than “the norm” we have had to reevaluate and re-prioritize a lot of things. It sure seems like I was missing out on a lot before.

3

I believe that having a child with Down syndrome is helping me to be a better parent to all of my kids. It is a challenge to balance my time and focus between all four children but my skills are improving and my understanding of the individual needs of each child is growing.

4

I am thankful that Down syndrome has helped me to appreciate the many small blessings that happen each day. Because Trey is on a different development schedule I have learned to be thankful for the small improvements that take place on the path to bigger achievements.

5

Having a child born with Down syndrome has opened my eyes to the way society often discriminates against those with the disability as well as other disabilities or anything that is not considered “typical.”

6

I am thankful for the opportunity to meet new people both in person and in the blogosphere. This is a chance to be part of something bigger than myself and my own little world

7

Down syndrome is helping all of my children to become better people, to see a much bigger world than I ever did at their ages.

The reality of the situation.

I had no idea that I was going to have a son with Down syndrome nor what such a thing would involve. I guess I am also thankful that I did not know ahead of time because I had the opportunity to meet my son without prejudice. I was able to look into Treyton’s eyes before my ignorance of Down syndrome could influence me.

There is a lot in life that we cannot control; however, the one thing that is always within reach is how we respond. Not every situation is equal – some things are much more difficult than others to deal with but we always have a choice. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring and given recent events I don’t expect things to be too easy. So for now, I am going to focus on this gift of Down syndrome I have been given.

  1. crystal

    This is wonderful Rob. HappyThanksgiving to you and your family.

    • Rob Arnold

      Thank you Crystal. Happy Thanksgiving to you as well.