On this Father’s Day, I am excited to write about what I have been reflecting upon the last few days.
Leah, my oldest daughter – congratulations on graduating from high school. This wasn’t just a regular graduation.
This was a celebration of all that you have worked so hard to accomplish in the time you were in high school. You maintained great grades, spent all 4 years in the choir, learned work skills and life skills. Your confidence in speaking with people when we struggle to understand you ceases to amaze me. I hope you never quit improving yourself. I hope I get to see every amazing challenge you conquer going forward. High School is a struggle for all kids, let alone someone with Down Syndrome, but you have gone beyond passing high school to actually thriving in high school and for that, I am so, so grateful.
Emma, my newest high school daughter – your first year of high school was a challenge academically, socially, and emotionally. I know it. I saw it. You worked hard in your classes. You went outside of your comfort zone and made new friends. You tried out for new things that you previously would have been terrified to try. You were so far from your comfortable world of middle school and you made it work for you. I know you were challenged by it. I love that you stayed on top of your grades and pulled all A’s out of your first year. But even more, I love that you made new friends, and are growing into an amazing young woman. You are interesting to speak with, have great ideas and you challenge me to improve myself. For your laughter, humor, intelligence and undying spirit, I am so, so grateful.
Lauryn, my youngest daughter – You rocked 3rd grade with humor, great academics, and a huge heart. Your teacher was so amazed that you would crawl around on the floor and pick up pencils & pens because you were afraid your friends might fall on them just showed me how big your heart is. I don’t know if you realize how big your spirit is. You light up a room when you walk into it. Your presence commands attention. Your ability to have an intelligent discussion with pretty much anyone is so far beyond what I was able to do at your age. You continued to make great academic strides this year and it seemed almost effortless, however, I know you crave knowledge and are excellent at reading and research. I am thrilled that you got into the gifted education program and I am so excited to see how you are able to grow with this challenging and fascinating program in 4th & 5th grade. For your intelligence, humor, creativity and enormous heart, I am so, so grateful.
With a proud heart,
Your dad, father, daddy, and dude