I love you because of everything

You have only been here five years, and yet, it is as if you have always been here.

As if you’ve lived within my heart for years. And truly, I suppose you have.

For as the plan has been laid for me, it is for you. I am yours and you are mine. I am your mother and you are my daughter. Deep within you are the dreams and gifts you will come to know when the time is right, just as I came to meet you on a rainy November afternoon when I was just 29.

“But you’re too young to have a child with Down syndrome,” they said. But oh, I’m all the more lucky. For the earlier I met you, the earlier I met a piece of my heart that I had not known until that day.

Tonight at dinner, we went around the table honoring you. Each child and parent shared what they loved about you, the games they liked to play with you, the things you do that make them smile.

When it came time for your 6-year-old brother to share his thoughts, he coyly smiled and then whispered:

I love you because of everything.

And it’s true. I love you because of everything.

Everything you are, everything you will grow to be, everything you bring to our family. Happy Birthday, my sweet child.