Two days ago he packed up his toothbrush, his asthma medication, his comb and his cologne, and moved to his own bathroom.
After eleven years of sharing the same sink and as his mother, taking care of his oral health, I saw him leaving my side to embrace his path to independence. I didn’t know what was happening at first. I thought he was just playing, but then I walked by to see all his stuff perfectly arranged at the sink in our hall bathroom.
My handsome and smart big-little man. I was once worried about his growth, and I was once terrified of comparing his milestones to typical kids his age, but not anymore because to me, he is on the perfect path to independence. Still, I can’t believe he just moved to his own bathroom.
Since the day in question, I can’t help myself from standing right behind his bathroom door just to look at him doing it all by himself. Every small step looks amazing. His ability to uncap the asthma medication, a fine motor skill that took a long time to master. The way he sticks the inhaler in the spacer, and the way he counts until 10 in order to complete the treatment – I’m in awe of it all.
I watch him opening the toothpaste and putting it on the toothbrush, and I feel blessed to be able to celebrate such an unnoticed miracle for many, which means the world to me.
If there is something I have to be thankful for thanks to him, it is for the gift to be a part of an amazing universe of possibilities and capabilities, where everything is celebrated no matter how big or small. This is our world, these are our perfect times together, and no one can take that away.
We have built these moments with love, devotion and acceptance. We have developed new growth charts that work for us, and have overcome our own insecurities along the way. We have learned how to live full lives of acceptance and joy. We are proud of each other.
And when people congratulate me for being a good mom and for loving and accepting my son with Down syndrome despite his challenges, I realize they have no clue what they are talking about. I am the one who needs to be thankful to him for loving and accepting me the way I am and despite all of my insecurities and my ignorance. Since the day he was born, all he has done has taught me and those around us meaningful lessons about abilities and determination. Growing into his own bathroom was just one of them.