My firecracker

Sullivan is my firecracker.

He wears his heart on his sleeve.

He feels his emotions on a grand scale.

He loves with his whole heart.

His zesty personality is one I am learning to navigate.

And he truly makes me a better mama.

Mama’s helper

The morning this photo was taken, he saw his scarf in the van when we arrived at daycare.

This is a special scarf, made by his great aunt, in the down syndrome colours.

He loves this scarf, even though at two and a half years old, he is too young to really understand what it represents.

I often wonder how long until he understands that Robert is different. We read books about Down Syndrome together. In fact, one of these books specifically says that some people have 47 chromosomes, while others have 46. When we get to that page, I ask “Who here has 47 chromosomes?!” in an excited voice. Sullivan will raise his hand, saying “Moi! Moi!” at the same time as Robert does.

That’s my cue to say that Robert is the lucky boy in our family with 47 chromosomes. I tell them that Sully and mama and Alistair and Daddy all have 46 chromosomes, but Robert has one extra.

We bring Sullivan (and Alistair) to Down Syndrome community events, he knows several people with Down Syndrome, but to him, they aren’t ‘Down syndrome’. They are his friends, and his family.

Robert is the last person he sees before falling asleep in the room they share, and the first person he sees in the morning.

He waits for him at the front door after school; pushes all the buttons he possibly can in an effort to annoy him the way any brother would; and he loves Robert with all his heart.

As he learns what Down Syndrome is, I hope to see this love intensify and stay just as pure. Most of all, I hope that he keeps being the Sullivan he is – full of love, kindness and a little bit of mischief. ♡

Best Brothers

It has been busy here these past few weeks. We bought hardwood flooring to replace the old carpets in some of the bedrooms, and we were finally able to install it. We began with Robert’s room.

After we emptied out the contents of Robert’s room, and my husband installed the new flooring, we decided to move Sullivan into Robert’s room… it seemed as though these two boys should share a room.

We didn’t need to make space in Robert’s room for Sullivan. Our home has 4 bedrooms, giving each of our boys their own room, but something told me that we should move Sullivan into Robert’s room. That they needed to be in each other’s company.

The bed and crib all set up.

Leading up to this change, we asked Robert if he wanted to share his room with Sullivan. He gave an excited “OUI!” to the idea. Sullivan didn’t really understand what we were asking, so we took Robert’s enthusiasm as a green-light. His excitement helped us to feel more comfortable with the big change.

Once we moved the crib next to Robert’s bed, we showed the boys their new room. Surprisingly, they weren’t sure about it. We saw their skepticism (who knew 2 and 5 years olds could be so judgy? ha!). Likely, they wondered how this new set up and bedtime routine were going to work.

The first night, I snuggled up on Robert’s bed with Alistair, Sullivan and Robert. They had each picked a bedtime story, and we began to read them together… or more precisely, I began to read and they began to giggle, jump on the bed, and cause shenanigans as I recited Sandra Boynton’s “Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!” and “That’s Not My Snowman” by Fiona Watt . Finally, they settled down as I sang them a bedtime song. Hugs and kisses were shared between all 3 brothers before I began tucking the big kids into their respective beds.

I left the room, expecting the worse. I planned to wait before putting Alistair to bed, fearing they’d wake him.

I waited.

And waited.

… and waited.

Finally, I accepted the truth…

They were asleep!

Sullivan, our little firecracker, was not the type to just fall asleep without some form of whining or crying. He hated being alone. He was also trying to coax us back into the room to comfort him.

That’s why Sullivan couldn’t be on his own in his own room. He hated being alone. He needed to have someone near him, he needed to be with his brother.

It’s been a few weeks, and this arrangement is still working out for us. Most nights, they are content to fall asleep rather quickly (maybe after a few giggles and chit-chats). We are rarely summoned back in by Sullivan in tears.

How lucky are we that these boys aren’t just brothers, but they are best friends? I always hoped they’d be close, but they are much closer than I could have dreamed. They are the best brothers and have the best bond. I truly look forward to watching this bond deepen as they get older.