What Would You Tell Them?

He looked at me and then stared at the ground for a moment. He wanted to ask his question without offending me. "What would you tell the mom or dad that hugs their child a little tighter after seeing Elias?" I knew this was a difficult and bold question for him to ask. I swallowed hard, no one has ever asked me this before. I've heard of parents hugging their children and thanking God that they weren't the one who died or had cancer. But I've never thought about someone hugging their baby and thanking God that they didn't have Down syndrome. That they weren't like my son.

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Weeks have gone by since he asked me that question and I am still processing it. In the moment I answered him quickly and honestly. But I have thought about it more. It's not a question that can be answered quickly. There is a lot behind that question, a lot of tears and devastation I have worked through to be able to give my answer.

I looked at his eyes for a moment and I smiled. Where do I begin? I thought to myself. And I answered the question just as boldly as he asked it. "In the same way they hug their child and thank God that they don't have a disability, when I hold my son, passion and love grip my soul. And I tell him he is exactly how he should be. The thought of my son being any different than he is today would mean the death of him. Just like the parent who thanks God that their child does not have Down syndrome, I thank God for giving me a child that is not typical—a child with Down syndrome."

My life is full and it is so good. The things people might see as a burden, I see as grace. A gift I do not deserve, one that has changed me. I see life differently then I used to. I'm so thankful for what I have been given—and I tell him every day. 

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© 2014 Natalie Falls