Starting in 2006 and marking its fifteenth anniversary this year, World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, is the day we celebrate the unique and precious blessing of individuals in our lives with Down syndrome. Down syndrome, or trisomy 21, means there is an extra (third) chromosome in the twenty-first chromosomal pair of a person’s genetic makeup.
You, as parents, serve as the critical link in the bicycle chain of getting our educational system back on the road during this crisis, both for our nation and for our families. When you brought your child into this world, you accepted the vocation of parenting: to be loving, conscientious caretakers and leaders in your child’s life, both during your child’s earthly travel and, through Christ, into eternity. Without the Spirit’s presence and your understanding, commitment, sacrifice, and hope for your children, this quest to restart our lives and economy safely won’t be successful. Although there is enough anxiety for all within this chain, that of parents is perhaps the hardest to recognize or, at least to accept. I can guarantee your anxiety is observed easily by your children and is highly palpable in the planning of your school’s teachers and administrators.
As a child and teenager, I was always reminded of the Fourth Commandment: Honor your father and your mother.
Obviously, I should have been doing that anyway … but I was too busy talking back and rolling my eyes to remember.
Once I moved out and lived on my own—first at college, then as a working adult—I thought my days of obeying my parents were over. After all, I didn’t live under their roof anymore, so I got to make my own rules in my own home!
Congratulations and welcome to the oldest club in history. Many have traveled this road of parenthood before you, but your experience will be your very own, unique and wonderful, just as you and your child are unique and wonderful gifts of God. Being a parent is an exciting, joyful, fun, exhausting, twenty-four-hour-a-day, bewildering, delightful, incredibly awesome responsibility.
As a father, have you ever had that moment when in the midst of disciplining your kids you have an almost out of body experience listening to the sound of your own voice?