Parker’s big sister, McCall, got married in June. A beautiful bride. A handsome groom. A day filled with wishes coming true. McCall was the third of Parker’s siblings to get married. Out of my six kids, there will be two more weddings. Just two. Realizing this has made me think about Down syndrome and weddings.
But first, let’s talk about McCall’s big day.
About an hour before McCall’s wedding reception, we set out Parker’s wedding duds on the kitchen table and told Parker that we would come back a little later and take him to join the festivities. Our nurse said that from the time we left until the time we returned, Parker either sat by the table where his clothes were, or by the door he knew we’d use when we came home.
This kid knew exactly what was going on. He understands everything we say to him, his expressive language is where the struggle takes place.
I’m so glad I let Reed talk me into taking Parker to the reception. It meant the world to his big sister and Parker had a wonderful time sharing the lime light with her, even if it was only for a short time. To make things even more fun, the Groom’s niece who also has Down syndrome was there too!
The youngest Hodson boy makes friends anywhere he goes. People are drawn to him and often tell me what a beautiful kid he is. I have to agree. There’s something about Parker that can only be described as ‘magic.’
The wedding dress McCall is wearing? I wore in on my wedding day. My Mom wore it on hers. Same dress. Three generations of brides. Almost 60 years. And it’s back in it’s specially sealed box waiting to see if one day a new generation of brides might want to don it on their wedding day.
People ask if I feel sad that Parker’s life plan isn’t going to include getting married or having a family of his own. Yes, I reply, there are times when I feel a pang of that sort. When Parker interacts with his new niece and nephew and I see how tender, gentle, and caring he is with each of them. When he offers his beloved chewy when one of them are upset, or he rubs their heads the same way we rub his, reveal a bit of the type of parent he would be.
I chose to focus on all of what is possible in my son’s life. All of the things he will accomplish, all of the greatness of spirit stuffed within his skinny little body. Suddenly what isn’t destined to be a part of his life’s mission isn’t important and instead I find myself being overwhelming thankful for the joy this kid breathes into my life each and every day.
What about you? How do you deal with the reality that your child with special needs may never marry or have a family of their own?