Owen and his sisters

Owen and his sisters thumbnail.

Owen’s parents are proud of his three big sisters for the role they play in their baby brother’s life and the role he will play in theirs. A lovely tribute to their four children.

Dear Anna (6), Macy (4) and Kira (2),

When we received Owen’s diagnosis at four days old, our immediate thoughts were of you, his sisters. Our biggest worry was what Down syndrome would mean for you and your futures.

We had many, many worries and concerns, our minds amass with questions and thoughts of what is to come but as time goes, these worries drift further and further from our mind.

Owen is now 16 months old and we watch how you play with him: showing him things, reading to him, singing with him, talking to him and teaching him. Each and every time you do, our hearts just burst with pride, adoration and love for you all.

We watch you walk by and give him a quick kiss, his hair a quick scruff or just quietly lie down next to him and hold his hand. We love that you include him in all your play and activity and ensure he is part of everything you do in some way and do so simply because you want to.

We watch you greet him each morning or after spending time apart like you’ve missed him deeply for even just the smallest amount of time. The hugs, smiles and kisses bring tears to our eyes. We love that you ‘fight’ over who will sit next to him, who will help him, who will tell him first, who will watch him or who he will play with next.

We recognise the way you sit quietly and observe at his many therapy and medical appointments. We love that you then put into action your mini therapist skills, doing exactly as they would with stretches, exercises, games, feeding, setting up his machines, replacing oxygen masks or comforting and reassuring him in times of need.

We also know you are his biggest cheerleaders celebrating each and every one of those tiny, magical milestones along with us and eagerly await his next stage of development or learning of a new skill. You are already proving to be the greatest support crew anyone could ever ask for!

We know you are trying hard to understand why he’s doing things differently to others, why things are not happening for him as quickly as others and why he must attend so many medical and therapy appointments. We know it’s hard for you at times and we recognise you now live a different life to your peers, but also one that you will never know differently from. You may not understand it now, but we believe you will be far greater people because of it.

Owen has already changed your lives in ways you don’t even know. You’ve learnt kindness and consideration towards others, especially those with different abilities. You’ve learnt compassion and understanding about others with different needs and challenges. You’ve learnt to appreciate the time and effort that goes into learning a new skill, to recognise and celebrate all achievements (big and small) and that the love you have and feel is reciprocal and forever. Most importantly and the greatest of them all, you are learning what a privilege it is to have someone with Down syndrome in your life.

Who knows what the future holds for you or Owen, but know he and we will always be right beside you sharing your journey with you – now, forever and always.

Anna, Macy and Kira we are so very proud of you and the awesome human beings you are becoming. We know that you will each change lives for the better…and even more so because you are Owen’s sisters!