Happy birthday to our Seth!! Time does indeed fly by, as we can hardly believe that we just celebrated his fifth birthday. What a journey these years with him have been. I say it each time- we wouldn’t trade what we’ve learned these last five years for all the world.
It’s funny how Seth can be both our easiest and our most difficult child all at once. Let’s start with easy: he is the most content child I’ve ever known. His favorites are easy: Jesse and Woody (Toy Story) dolls, monkeys, bubbles, outside, Sports Illustrated football, basketball and baseball encyclopedias, Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins (mainly for Burt), watching replays of A&M football games, playing tackle, dancing, macaroni and cheese, pancakes, chocolate and DADDY. Everything else I think he could give or take, but those are clearly his favorites and truly a win-win every time. What makes him the most difficult? Seth is by far the most stubborn of all our kids. He will refuse to do even the simplest or most necessary of tasks (for example, go to the bathroom and wash your hands) just because he’s made up his mind that he doesn’t want to. Forget bribery, forget pulling out the list of favorites. If he’s decided no, we figured out finally that we’d better decide to put on our patient hats. Seems we don’t have enough of those around here some days.
This year, the Lord gave our family another baby on the way….a baby brother due in September. I continue to find myself surprised at the audacity of people to ask me again with this pregnancy, just as they did with Kyle’s, if this was a surprise. “Did you mean to get pregnant? Are you worried about this baby too? Aren’t you at greater risk? Have you done all the testing to make sure it’s okay?” While I had a tendency to get my feathers ruffled a bit when I was pregnant with Kyle, I am better able to laugh it off with baby Jackson.
It’s out of people’s ignorance and lack of experience/education that they would assume that any pregnancy after having given birth to a child with Down syndrome would be a “mistake,” an “oops,” or “was this a GOOD surprise?” It just comes to prove that our words can be so powerful to a person- they can give life and encouragement or bring death and doubts. And not that it’s any of the world’s business, but YES….Joel and I prayed and asked the Lord for both Kyle and Jackson, JUST LIKE WE DID with both Ella and Seth. And He gives all things perfectly and beautifully in His time. No, I’m not “worried” about this baby more than I was with any other. And no, I didn’t have any testing done with Kyle or Jackson, because we’re just having a baby…..however the Lord gives it, we joyfully receive it, JUST LIKE WE DID with Ella and sweet Seth. And truth be known, if they were all like Seth, we’d be blessed beyond what we deserve.
It’s interesting how with both Kyle and now Jackson, I’ve eagerly anticipated knowing the gender simply for Seth’s sake. My thoughts are always, “I wonder what the Lord is going to give Seth this time.” Seems one big sister and two little brothers has been in God’s plan all along and I can’t help but agree that He knows what’s best for our family. You see, siblings play such an extraordinary role in the life of a child with special needs, specifically Down syndrome, from my point of view. I love how from the beginning, I noticed that Ella’s spunk and energy were a beautiful balance to Seth’s easy-going laid back nature. She pushes him and speeds him up where he gives her opportunities to learn more patience, compassion and contentment in the little things in life. She goes out of her way to love on other kids with special needs, specifically DS, and shows no measure of fear of what the world sees as a little “different.” She is far more compassionate and gracious towards peers than I was at that age. I was so proud of her being acknowledged this year as the student of the month in her class that demonstrated the character trait of “Peace.” I’ll admit, my heart broke a little this year as I noticed Kyle passing Seth up in the speech category. While we were thrilled to see Kyle’s language explosion, it hurt to realize the window of two and half years difference narrowing by the day. But yet again, I can’t help but agree that God knows what’s best for our family. Kyle has exceptional speech and language development for a two year old, which has become a model for Seth, as we, too, have seen a growth in all of Seth’s areas of development as well. When we praise Kyle for using his words and laugh at some of the things he says, Seth keenly notices and repeats so that he, too, can be in on the encouragement. Ella and Kyle have been some of Seth’s best teachers and I’m certain that will be with him for years to come.
Seth is a treasure that I wish the all the world could know. He gives the best hugs….always has, really. He can squeeze and squeeze and kiss and kiss until you’re love tank is officially “full.” He has the most forgiving heart and shows no grudges, remembers no wrongs. He loves us well and has made Joel and I into far better people, spouses and parents.
Thank you, Lord, for gifting us with Seth. Thank you for the plans that you have for him….plans to prosper Seth and to keep him from harm….plans to give Seth a hope and a future. And, thank you for the miracle you performed for him for Your glory. Lord, you are so good to us and continue to give us more than we deserve. Help us to steward this child in a way that would bring you honor and glory all the days of his life.
I love you, Seffy boy!