A Letter to My Son With Down Syndrome


October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a chance to spread awareness. During the month of October, we celebrate people with Down syndrome and make people aware of our abilities and accomplishments. It’s not about celebrating disabilities, it’s about celebrating abilities.

Dear Marcus:

Don’t tell your sisters, but you’re my favorite baby.  I swear that some days I don’t even know what love is anymore, because you blew the top off the definition.  Maybe it comes from the intense desire to wrap my love around you like a protective blanket and shield you from a world that I know will not always be kind or fair.  Or maybe it comes from the interactions I’ve had with you that are so unique to you: the way you stare at me for minutes upon minutes and the way your eyes light up with every innocent smile.  Whatever it is, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Not a single thing.  The calm and sweetness that you exude is like nothing I’ve ever witnessed.

On the day you were born, I knew immediately that you had Down syndrome.  It was hard to not be selfish with my feelings – to not immediately question how this would affect your two sisters, your dad, and me.  And because we did not have a pre-birth diagnosis, we did not have time to sort some of these confusing and overwhelming feelings out.  We didn’t know what we know now, and sometimes that makes me sad and even ashamed.  But most of all, it makes me feel saddened for those who are afraid of a Down syndrome diagnosis and what the future holds.  To those people I would say, “Please do not be afraid.  It’s understandable, but unnecessary.”

It’s undeniable that the 24 hours following your birth were difficult and emotional, and it’s undeniable that I sometimes still pinch myself – wondering what the meaning of all of this is.  But it is NOT undeniable that you were placed in my lap by happenstance.  I truly believe that you were given to me as a gift; you were placed with me because I needed you, and you needed me.  And what you have already given me is something that both cannot be undone and is truly life-changing.  No, you were not who I thought you were going to be, you were more.  More of everything that I and this world needs.

As someone who has always been the advocate of the underdog, you are the yin to my yang.  And at just 9 months old, you have proven to me that being the underdog does not mean that you have a lack of passion, grit, determination, focus, or ability.  Yes, you are a little delayed, but you still meet every milestone that typical babies meet.  And when it happens – the first smile, the first laugh, the rolling over – the joy is simply beyond measure.  I have no doubt that you will live life to the fullest and that one day you will not feel like an underdog – you’ll feel like Marcus: strong, courageous and able.  Your name, after all, does symbolize a Roman God of War.

Our First Day Together

You are valued, you are worthy, and you are a welcomed part of society.  And if you ever feel that you are not, then we will change it.  You and me together.  Hand in hand, heart in heart.


I Hope You Know

I hope you know that your imprint on this world is significant.  That, without even trying, you are teaching people that differences are natural, ok and acceptable.  The meaning of life is often what we make of it, and I know that you make things more meaningful for every person who has and will lay their eyes on you.  It is impossible to look at you and not feel compassion for your fight – that extra effort that you already put into everything.  And it is impossible to not look at you and realize that you are more like your peers than you are different than them.  Your differences make you who you are, but they do not define you or your place in this world.  You are valued, you are worthy, and you are a welcomed part of society.  And if you ever feel that you are not, then we will change it.  You and me together.  Hand in hand, heart in heart.

So, thank you for reminding me that the underdogs are the true fighters and that joy exists and is paramount in everyday successes.  And thank you for reminding the world that differences should only mean acceptance and that life should be measured by meaning.  These gifts are lifelong and eternal.

I love you,


For anyone seeking information on Down syndrome following a diagnosis, please see: www.dsdiagnosisnetwork.org

Also see the following site for an organization near you: www.globaldownsyndrome.org

Do you have a personal story with down syndrome? Please "celebrate abilities" with us and share!

Contributing Sister Site and Author

About {Casie}

Casie grew up in Rochester, MN and after living in various other states, she and her family moved back to Rochester to settle in and raise their family. Casie is married to Ben, also a Rochester native, and they have three children: Sidney, Isla and Marcus. When Casie is not working as a school counselor and spending time with her family, she likes all things creative: writing, art, photography, house projects, etc. She also loves to exercise (balance and energy!), participate in philanthropic activities and spend quiet time with her girlfriends.