Friday, October 31, 2008

Thoughts from Dad...

When it comes to my youngest daughter Bridget, what I feel most often is pride.

Sure, I’m proud of her in so many ways as any father would be. I'm proud to see her smile and laugh, interact with her older siblings, communicate with sign language (most fathers don't get that experience), crawl, stand, take first steps, even raise her index finger high in the air when we say "Go Bucks!"
...and the list goes on. I'm proud of the way she expresses herself, of her joyful spirit, and of the depth of her determination.

That feeling of pride extends much farther, though, into areas I would not really have expected.

I am proud of my other children for having such a pure acceptance for who Bridget really is as a person, not only as a child with Down syndrome. I’m proud of their willingness to try to contemplate the lives of others with disabilities and to view and appreciate them as individuals.

I am proud of their young friends for being willing to take the lead from our children in finding an understanding, acceptance and pure enjoyment of Bridget.

I am proud of my friends and extended family for celebrating Bridget, versus judging her as a child with a syndrome that makes her different, and for supporting our entire family in our advocacy efforts.

I’m proud of my wife for her willingness to provide information, along with a sense of peace and understanding, to other parents who will have children with Down syndrome and are uncertain as to what that really means and what the future may hold.

Just two years ago we were in that uncertain position, and I’m proud to say that our life is much more complete and full with Bridget in it!

**This post from Chris marks the end of Ds Awareness Month. Although it also marks the end of our participation in 31 for 21, we will continue to advocate, on all days, for Bridget and for all people with Down syndrome.

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