Eight years ago today, in this season of Advent, Phil, Charlotte and I were blessed with the greatest Christmas present imaginable – the gift of a wonderful son and a sweet baby brother.
Happy Birthday, Dear Jonathan!
You make us smile, you make us laugh and you make us think – about possibilities and promise; about trials and triumphs; and about life and love.
You have taught us much in your eight years – that given the same chances and expectations as other kids you will rise to the occasion; that you are not to be spoiled or coddled or pitied; that your potential is as limitless as any child who doesn’t have Down syndrome; that – just like any other child – you have your own unique personality and talents and dreams and shortcomings; and that above all else, you are a blessing and not a burden.
You are, in fact, many of the things that society may not perceive you to be. But my dear Jonathan, we are working on that. My birthday wish for you is that you will live to see the day when you are judged – to paraphrase Martin Luther King, Jr. – by the content of your character – that society will see beyond the “disability” and get to know the real person who inhabits the stereotypical exterior.
Jonathan, I am proud of you for many reasons. You are smart, you are funny, you are determined and you are a wonderful son. But most of all, you are a normal boy – a normal boy who just so happens to have one extra “abnormal” chromosome.
Happy Birthday! Love, Mom