From the moment you were born I have loved you with every fibre of my being. I never knew it was possible to love someone so much, and honestly words cannot explain how much you mean to me, but I will try.
I remember while I was pregnant with you, my friend Jolynn telling me how excited she was for me to have you, because she couldn’t wait for me to feel THAT love. I thought I knew what she meant, until the moment I held you. THAT feeling I thought I knew, turned into something more incredible then I had ever felt before. My heart swelled with love, and pride and joy. I honestly could not have ever imagined that feeling before I met you.
You were the cutest, chubbiest, blondest, most beautiful baby I had ever met, and you were mine. I got to hold you as much as I wanted. I got to kiss your chubby fingers and breathe in your wonderful baby smell, and be your Mom. God chose me to love you and watch over you. How lucky was I?
The moment the Doctors told me they thought you had Down Syndrome, I looked down at you and thought you were perfect, there was no way. I thought they had to be wrong. I held you even tighter, I loved you even more. But I was scared. I didn’t really know what Down Syndrome was. I was worried for your future, and ours. It took me a while to comprehend, to let the news sink in and to process the information we had been given. I had moments where I forgot about your diagnosis, and moments where it was all I could think about. Many moments of pure love and joy, but also some moments of tears and worry.
Over the course of this year, I have truly come to realize that you are not defined by your diagnosis. You are blazing your own trail, making your own milestone markers, and teaching us every step of the way. Having Down Syndrome has made your journey and ours, even more beautiful and special. Your extra chromosome makes you unique, but you are just like your peers, loving life, discovering your world, and bringing joy to all those you meet. You truly are our sunshine.
You are our happy monkey, our little dinosaur, our Cooper, our snuggle bug, our Joy Giver and the light of our life. I couldn’t imagine any other journey, but the one we are on with you.
You have taught us how to love harder than we have loved before. You have taught us to be patient, helping us realize that we need to stop and smell the roses and enjoy life. That rules are meant to be broken sometimes, and that milestone markers are just guidelines, and not so important if we are enjoying the journey along the way.
You are so smart. It truly is incredible! When we heard you had Down Syndrome, we honestly had no idea what to expect from you, and after 1 year with you, I know that I cannot limit you. You do not let us down, in everything we teach you, you exceed our expectations tenfold. You never give up. You are so motivated to impress. The smile on your face when you hear “Yay Cooper” is one that would brighten anyone’s day, especially mine! You were rolling over at 7 weeks, sitting like a champ at 6 months, and now at 1, you are pulling yourself up at furniture and even taking steps on your own in your walker. You’re eating skills rival your fathers, and your pat-a-cake is like no other! Every day you learn something new. I have never been prouder of anyone than I am of you. You never fail to impress me and make me smile.
You have opened my heart and mind and soul to look at others with a more kind and compassionate heart. To judge less, and love more. You have made me understand that different is okay, and to take the time to understand people’s stories. You have cultivated a desire in me, to advocate for you and your peers, to spread awareness about your beautiful soul, loving personality, and determination & motivation to learn and grow.
Every morning you greet me with the most beautiful smile I have ever seen, and the best hug in the world. Never have I met anyone who gives better hugs and more love and snuggles than you. Everyone you meet says so. They all love your snuggles too, but I am the lucky one because I get them all the time.
You make me want to brag on you every single day (and I do)! You are a hit with everyone you meet and anyone who sees your pictures. They always remark about your smile that lights up your entire face. They ask how I always capture you smiling, and I must tell them, “He is always smiling”. I am so lucky!
Your first year has been not only a blessing in our life, but so many others. Watching you learn and grow this year has been beautiful, and at times breathtaking. It has been a joy, and sometimes it has been a struggle, but most of all it has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and your dad. We cannot wait to see what this next year has in store for you, and see what you are going to teach us this year.
Thank you for being you Cooper!
I love you!
I can’t believe it has already been almost 2 weeks since Cooper turned 1! Heck, I can’t believe I have a one year old.
I meant to post this letter on his birthday, but life gets busy, and time gets away from you sometimes.
Finally I can share with you the ADORABLE mini photoshoot our friend Alex shot for us of Cooper turning 1 year old & the always popular Smash Cake. Follow him on his blog www.alexdphotography.ca/blog or check him out on Instagram @alexd_photography