On a spring day in 1995, my husband and I welcomed a bouncing, baby boy, who happened to have Down syndrome. It was our first child, and we were paralyzed with the information and overwhelming uncertainty that we were about to face. It has been eighteen years of tremendous growth and unexpected victories. Change and transition can lead to fear, but if you are the parent of the amazing Bailey Jones, his constant mantra is how he loves his life. Just hearing that makes everything better.
Now he is a senior in high school, eager to experience everything that a typical kid his age would be a participant in doing. My heart breaks a little each time he brings home a college brochure, or talks about living in a dorm. Today, we received an acceptance letter to a vocational school we were hoping he would be attending. He might as well have been accepted into an Ivy league school with the amount of enthusiasm he spilled. To ease the disappoinment over the dorm room, we are slowly updating his room with a cool vibe starting with a wall-mounted flat screen television. Small victories for us are large accomplishments for him. I have never looked back on our life with him and regretted single second. He is definitely the gift that keeps on giving and one of my biggest teachers.