I wish I could remember more of Erik from our childhood. He was 16 months old when I arrived. Even though we were so close in age, I recall more about my little sister than I do about him - probably because we shared a room and got into arguments. Even though I don't remember arguing with Erik when we were growing up but I suppose it might have happened.
So, seeking help, I recently I sent a questionnaire to many of our family members asking for their thoughts and memories about Erik. One of the questions I included was:
"What were your memories of Erik when he was a baby or a little boy?"
I received this from our mom: When Erik was born I had to grow up and I felt a sense of responsibility that I may not have had otherwise. And it gave me a deeper feeling for other peoples difficulties. As a baby Erik was very good, he almost never cried. He was so undemanding and easy to care for. He learned to walk when he was a year and a half. Then - he was so cute!! As a little boy he was very sweet. I can not remember him giving us any trouble ever.
|Erik was such a cute, happy guy!|
From our Uncle Ed: I will never forget that smile...Also I loved to watch him dig into his food...man was he focused!
and from our Uncle Bob: I learned so much from Erik. He loves so fully and is so faithful. It took me a while to see that he came to our family to teach us about people who are different. He added not only his love but also his spirit of fun! And I think all of us were his favorites! When he was born I was so shocked and sad to learn that he had down's. I was afraid at first because I had never been around someone like him, and I think I assumed he would not become a real family member in the sense of contributing much to our lives. But when be became an Elvis fan, his personality spilled out all over us. His knew how to have fun, and soon it was so obvious that he has an enormous love for those around him. Of course, there have been many difficult decisions to make about what kind of expectations are reasonable, but he taught us patiently that he could do more than we ever imagined. And he has adapted to each change in his life with an uncommon patience.(More family feedback to come.)
Some down syndrome babies begin their lives with a host of added handicaps. They might not gain weight or feed well; or they might have heart trouble or get sick easily. I'm grateful God spared my parents from those issues.
They already had a lot to handle with Erik,
then me (who battled a difficult childhood disease),
our sister (who was perpetually active and loud when she was little)
and our youngest brother ("the baby" who was so adorable we couldn't stand it)
I'd love to know if any of you have memories of babies/toddlers with Ds you might like to share.