Monday, March 21, 2011

redefining expectations...

every parent would like to think of their child as capable of anything. after all "you can do anything that you put your mind to". when a child is born the mother looks straight into its eyes and envisions the, teacher, dancer, sports star, president..."they can do anything they put their mind to". sometimes a parent will go as far as to try to help mold that child into exactly what it is that they want that child to classes, musical instruments, language courses, gymnastics, sports...the list goes on and on. but, inevitably every parent is faced with the same reality..."they can do anything they put their mind to"...and the parent realizes that although they can push their child to meet said child's full potential they can't shape them to do what the parent wants them to do. the child decides the direction, the child decides their potential, the child decides their limits. and although we would like to continue to envision our potential future rock stars we are brought back down to earth when our child decides he/she wants absolutely nothing to do with that piano we just dumped who knows what dollar amount into. and so, every parent ends up back at square one with a blank stare and wonder as they watch their child figure out who they are and want to become.

a down syndrome diagnosis comes with a lot of different expectations...instead of looking toward bio-engineering our horizon changes and our expectations become more, genuine. "i want my child to be whatever he puts his little mind to"...i still want him to reach for those stars, because i know that he has a wealth of limitless potential, but really, i want him to be an upstanding, productive member of society...and honestly, isn't that what we should expect out of all of our children? so with that, what defines productive? if his limitless potential is defined without even a glimmer of biology (i hate science too p.s.) is he not productive? has he not reached his full potential? no...his potential just happened to not favor science...and what if my little one continues to live at home with mom and dad through his older age and works as a bus boy for forty years...has he not become a productive member of society?

i know that my child will make those around him smile, i know that he will thrive, even if it isn't in science, i know that he will contribute love and caring and a good heart to the world and i know that he will create a limitless wealth of value. so really, it doesn't matter if he doesn't become the president of the united states...but it does matter that he lives his life to full capacity, that he loves to full capacity and that he laughs to full capacity, because that is what it's all about.
today we celebrate world down syndrome awareness day...march 21st was chosen because our littles carry three copies of the twenty-first chromosome. and as we celebrate today we celebrate the limitless potential for our children to be happy, to be healthy, to be productive members of the societies in which we live and to be loved and accepted for who they are...we expect, instead of accept and we love that little bit of extra.


  1. This was an awesome post...I loved every word and I couldn't agree more! Happy 3-21!!!

  2. Your post really touched me today, Tonya. Thank you. And happy 3-21 to you and little Cam Man.

  3. YOu amaze me. I love reading all your post. YOu have such a clear prospective on life and I truly admire you.

    Now when do I get to see you? Email me or call me and let's set something up either this weekend or next.

  4. what a beautifully written post! love, love your perspective. every word is so true. My only complaint is that I want to so more posts so that we can keep up with you's bad enough that we live across the country from you. (-: haha. happy 3.21 (a day late)!

  5. I love reading your posts! I look forward to reading them everytime I see a new one is posted. You're such an amazing writer! I love the way you look at life and the fact that Cam has changed that in you. What an incredible little boy and he's only 14 months!


Our ScrapBook...