Learning that you will be having a child with Down syndrome is, for most people, a scary experience. Far too often, that fear can turn into abortion. Parents that give their children a chance at life despite not only experiencing fear and grief, but also pressure to take their preborn child’s life, should be applauded. And this Father’s Day, the dads who took on the challenge of raising a child with Down syndrome are the subject of a heartwarming tribute from the Jerome Lejeune Foundation in “My Dear Dad”.
In “My Dear Dad”, viewers see life from the perspective of a boy with Down syndrome, who narrates the video. His dad plays with him, reads to him, and his son tells him that he is good at a lot of things, even if he “sometimes gets it wrong”. He tells his dad that he loves him, and the video closes with father and son standing in front of the bathroom mirror, shaving together, with the son giving his dad a kiss and saying Happy Father’s Day.
What stands out is the normality of their life together. People assume that a child with Down syndrome will be suffering, or that parents will spend the rest of their lives miserable and tired. But this video shows that children with Down syndrome are children first. Life consists of changing diapers, reading books, playing games, and in general, lots of happiness and love. A child may have special needs, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are still just a child, and all they need is love and support, and maybe a little bit of silliness and fun, too.
To the dads out there parenting a child with Down syndrome, this one is for you. And thank you for showing us all that love doesn’t count chromosomes.