A Letter To My Kindergarten Son With Down Syndrome


As I walk through the kindergarten gates, I hook it under my foot and unlatch the lock one handed as I’ve always done. And my mind says ‘open-shut! Good boy!’ Because I’ll be saying it shortly.

We have so many small rituals, Parker.

On one of your first days of daycare, a mum walked her little boy in while chatting away brightly. ‘Help me open it. Ok, now shut. Good boy!’

I was overwhelmed. I looked at her son, not much larger than mine, walking and talking. I felt you’d be this small forever. A babe in arms, Down syndrome impeding your size and growth.

I waited so impatiently for your voice to come. Your gross motor, your laugh and your independence. I watched as you finally find your feet and walked at 2 and a half. I still wait.. but now, I’m OK with what’s to come.

And now you’re three.

I walk into your new kindergarten room. I watch you play outside with your friends, and stand on this side of the glass while you shout and bounce and pull a fairy dress over your head while slapping on a cowboy hat. You’re always the sharpest and most colourful dresser.

 

I complete our ritual- I approach you, you ignore me and flirt with the closest teacher. I pick you up- after a token struggle, you blow kisses to every teacher on the playground while waving furiously. I miss a teacher, you yell at me, we spin so you can blow the final kiss.

You wrap your arms around my neck and I collect my kisses. If you’ve had an extra spectacular day, I know to expect a nose rub too.

I watch you pack your name tag away in the basket, and try valiantly to find your socks so I don’t get cranky about another pair being eaten by lost and found.

You may not communicate often with words, but you are a cup I cannot come close to filling. Input and output are like giving and taking. They don’t always have to come out even. But sometimes, your cup will unexpectedly run over- and fill mine with joy.

With emotional intelligence beyond your years, you sometimes pre-empt my needs before I’m conscious of them. I get an extra hug today, for putting your backpack on you.

We head to the exit. I open the gate with my foot, because I’m holding you on my hip. I’m distracted, because I’m thinking about your missing socks. I shut the gate.

You pat my cheek and swivel my face around. You always command nothing less than my undivided attention.
“Goo-boy,” you say to me.

Just once, because that’s my ritual.  Our ritual. And you were always listening.

 


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About Kat Abianac

Kat is a writer and a passionate advocate for inclusion in the media and advertising. She has two children, one with Down syndrome. Use the 'contact us' tab on this site to request her media kit or to get in touch. You may republish content from www.parkermyles.com on your own site, provided a pingback is made to her original article and she is fully credited as author.

One Response to “A Letter To My Kindergarten Son With Down Syndrome”

  1. <3 <3

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