Amy Julia, Penny, and Peter stand at center court and smile towards the camera. Penny is wearing her cheerleading uniform and holding a bouquet of flowers for senior night

Penny’s Senior Night as a Cheerleader

If you had told me when she was born that our daughter with Down syndrome would be a Varsity cheerleader at our local high school, I don’t think I would have believed you. Thankfully, I learned pretty quickly that my assumptions about what was possible for her were often wrong.

We just celebrated—with her team, with other parents—Penny’s senior night. We watched her do what she’s been doing for three years now—dance and cheer, sometimes taking the lead, sometimes following her peers. I tried to keep the thought that this was the final home game of her final year of high school in the recesses of my mind and just enjoy this moment. This delight. This excitement. This reason to celebrate.

I look back on it, and I realize this moment happened in part because she started taking dance when she was three. It happened in part because we believed in her. And in part because she goes to a school where the adults believe in her too. And it happened because she has worked really hard and loved being out there.

So many beautiful things can happen—for individuals, and for a community—when we assume possibility.

Penny, we are so proud of you and so grateful for all the people who have walked with our family every step of the way. (video below or on YouTube to watch some of this year’s clips)


5 Things I Wish I Had Known When Our Daughter Was Diagnosed With Down Syndrome

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