1) Love. Always Love.

2) Little milestones, things others take for granted, should be celebrated BIG…because it takes MUCH longer to get there. For example, who knew that to hold an umbrella and walk could be such a challenge? Multitasking is a gift that doesn’t come naturally.

3) Patience is a virtue I never had until Kaety. And I am still working on it.

4) Sometimes you will cry. HARD. But that also makes the laughter that much better. And oh! You will laugh!

5) She will do everything others can, but at her own pace. And that pace can be excruciating or invigorating. (See #3 – Patience!)

6) Stubbornness: The struggle is real.

7) If you ever want to know how to treat a child with special needs, watch how their siblings treat them. It is a beautiful awareness and innocence that makes you truly realize: we are more alike than different.

8) Her simple smile and hug can change your entire day, your feeling, your mood. It comes from deep within and envelopes her whole body, envelopes you, bringing with it a peace and joy that is truly a loving gift.

9) People have told me “you were chosen to have a ‘special’ child.” I wasn’t. I was challenged to learn more about myself than I ever thought I needed to know. Having a child at 38 is life changing. Having a child with Down Syndrome means taking a step back, walking into the unknown and embracing it. It means realizing you don’t control ANYTHING. Life is always a journey – and you’re on the best one yet. Make the most of it!

10) And most importantly: her soul shines like the brightest star for all the world to see. Anyone who knows her knows they are truly blessed. Her 3rd copy of the 21st chromosome? I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Kelly Spivey
+ posts

Kelly Spivey lives in South Carolina and is a working mom to two silly, sassy girls.