Since Daniel was born I’ve been told quite a few times that I’m “the perfect person” to have a child with Down syndrome. Here are some of my thoughts on that.
After the nurse informed us that it was likely Daniel had Down syndrome and left the room, the very first thing I said to Brian was, “I don’t know if I can do this.” And he looked at me like I was a little crazy and said, “Do what?” Because you know, little late to be rethinking this whole baby thing. He’s sleeping in the bassinet RIGHT THERE. And I said, “Raise a special needs child.” I was terrified of the future, of the unknowns that Daniel brought with him. And I most certainly did not believe I was the perfect person to be doing this.
Then a few days after Daniel was born, Brian and I were driving over to see him in the NICU. We pulled up to a stop sign at the parking lot entrance and Brian was quiet for a second before saying, “You know, I’ve always felt like I would have a special needs child.” And I responded with something super eloquent like, “Really?” But OH! Relief flooded through me when he said that. It was like suddenly everything was okay, because I wasn’t alone in this. He was so matter of fact, so sure that Daniel was meant for us. After that, how could I feel otherwise? It was suddenly easy to see that we are the best FAMLY for Daniel.
I don’t have to be the perfect person, because I’m not the only person Daniel has. Obviously I do my best, but Daniel is also lucky enough to have Brian and Kalena and Will and any/all future siblings. I still have my moments (or days) where I feel like I’m doing a terrible job at this. I think EVERY mother has those. Anyway, the point is, 20 months in I STILL don’t feel like I’m the perfect person to have a child with Down syndrome. But you know what? I DO have a child with Down syndrome so how I feel is pretty irrelevant. I’ll continue to do my best for Daniel just like I do for our other kids, and I’ll hope my best is good enough.