Have you ever given thought to the kind of gifts you would like to give your child? I don’t mean the kind that Amazon Prime can deliver when you wait until December 23rd to shop, but the kind that cannot be purchased?
I have always enjoyed giving gifts, even more than opening ones that someone else has given to me. I love the anticipation of the recipient’s reaction and the feeling of satisfaction that comes with finding the perfect thing that elicits’s a squeal of delight.
However, this time of year we can all get caught up in the buying and materialism that comes with a commercial Christmas. It is exactly this that led me to think about what kinds of gifts I wanted to give my children that cannot be wrapped. More specifically, my son Cedar who has Down Syndrome, what do I want to give him for Christmas?
I want to give him the world.
Let me explain, I want him to have every opportunity in the world that his siblings have. The opportunity to be who God designed him to be without society’s limits on him as things may take him a bit longer. I want him to know that he is supported, loved, and cherished beyond belief (as are all of my 6 children). I want him to know that he will always have someone to guide him, love him, cherish him…that comes with being born into a large family, the exact one that God chose for him.
I want him to have the opportunities that people like him did not have just 50 years ago. Our country has a rather appalling history when it comes to the treatment of those with disabilities, it was not that long ago that children born with Down Syndrome were shuffled away into institutions and not encouraged to be raised in the loving environment of a family home.
This breaks my heart. It is still going on in other countries today.
I cannot imagine being a mom who learns that her child has Down Syndrome, only to be told that the best thing for a child like this is to be sent away.
I will not ever send Cedar away. I will give him opportunities to blossom, to learn, to grow and to soar.
I am thankful that the tide is turning for those who have Down Syndrome. I am thankful that society is at least beginning to see their worth and I hope to help take part in that change for as long as I have breath.
So, for this Christmas, I want to give my child the intangible gift of opportunity.
What gift would you give your child that cannot be placed under a tree?
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