Tonight, is the last night that you will be one.
Tonight, I rocked you longer than I needed to.
Tonight, I held your little chubby hand tight against my chest with tears streaming down my face thinking about all the hills and valleys we have traveled together since I knew of your existence. I cried thinking about how far you have come, and all you have accomplished.
Tonight, I cursed time because it really is a thief.
Tomorrow, you will be two.
On the eve on your second birthday, I want to make some promises to you.
My first promise is to always have high expectations for you, and to encourage you to have a growth mindset. I won’t let people tell me you can’t do something. Can’t will not be in our vocabulary as we move forward through life. Instead, we are going to use the word “yet”. When someone tries to tell me you can’t do something, I promise to always correct them and say, “he just isn’t able to do it YET. But, he will”. I promise to always push you forward when it seems too hard to go on. You will encounter challenges in life. There are times when you will struggle. We all do. I promise to help you remember that you CAN do it, with practice and perseverance. I promise to help you up when you fall.
My second promise is to give you independence. This is a hard one for me. I want to help you all the time. But I know how important it is to let you figure things out on your own sometimes. I promise to always support you in things you want to learn and try, and give you the space to do them.
My third promise is to always make sure you know how God made you exactly the way you are supposed to be. There is absolutely nothing wrong or not “normal” about you. God carefully stitched together each piece of you with intention. He has plans for your life. He sees your worth. Yes, you have Down syndrome but it doesn’t define you. It is simply a piece of you. You are also silly, funny, driven, determined, handsome, smart, and loving.
Honestly, there are many times that I question if I am the one that was born with one chromosome too few, and you were born with just the right amount.
This year, you have learned how to crawl, how to stand, how to walk, and how to talk. You can say mama, dada, puppy, more, and baby. You use sign language for words you aren’t yet able to say. You went to daycare for a few months and learned so much there. Every day you learn something new, and it gives me great joy to watch. Your mind truly is a beautiful thing, Easton. Don’t ever let anyone tell you any differently.
In your second year of life you will become a big brother. You will know what it is like to love and protect someone smaller than you. You will probably be jealous at times and angry (often). But I know the relationship you will have with your little brother is going to be a beautiful one.
I can’t wait to see all that you learn this year. I can’t wait to hear more words enter your vocabulary so we can communicate with each other in that way more. I can’t wait to see you try new things and accomplish them with practice.
You have changed every inch of my being for the better. You have taught me more in the last two years of your life than I have learned in the other 30. You have taught me patience, selflessness, true empathy, and understanding. You have taught me how to be fearless in ways I never thought I could be. You have shown me God’s love in ways that I have never seen or felt before. You and I have had a different journey than most. It has been scary and hard at times. But it has been worth it every single second. You made me a mother. You are the best gift I have ever been given, and I will thank God for you every single day.