October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month! Over the course of the next month, I’ll share my own thoughts about Down syndrome and the ways having a child with a disability has shaped my understanding of myself, of God, and of what it means to be human. But I am also thrilled to say that I’ve asked our kids to also share what Down syndrome has meant in their lives. Penny, our 13-year old daughter who has Down syndrome, will be writing a short post most weeks. William, age 11, and Marilee, 8, will also offer their thoughts.
I’m starting with a letter Penny wrote to a new mother of a baby with Down syndrome. She has written letters of simple encouragement like this one many times in the past few years. Perhaps what feels remarkable about it is how unremarkable it is. I’ve written before about her typical life as a middle school kid, and that same sense shows up here:
Dear new mom,
I am Penny Becker im 13 years old and i have down syndrome. Here are some things that you might want to know about me. My favorite subject in school is language arts because i like to read and write. My favorite foods are fried ravoli and motzerella sticks. I also eat healthy food like a ceaser salad and berries! I have a brother and sister William and Marilee. A few of my close friends are Jamie, Hailea, Rachel, Lily, and Alex who moved! My favorite book right now is the Kicks. A 7th grader Devin met new friends, tried out for the soccer team and has a friend named Kara who lives back in Connecticut.
do not be afraid,
I should add that over the course of our thirteen years together, our motto has become, “Love is stronger than fear.” You’ll see a lot of that motto in the month ahead, and I hope it will become an easy way to remind yourself, as it has reminded me, to trust in Love instead of in Fear every day.