18 years ago my fifth child was born.
I noticed that my baby wasn’t crying. I began to panic.
I saw the look of fear in the doctors and the nurses eyes.
My husband asked the nurse, “Do you see what I see?”
She nodded yes.
My husband walked over to my bedside and whispered “Hol, our son has Down Syndrome.”
Instead of the congratulations that I had expected I heard, “I’m sorry.”
Sorry for what?
He had 10 toes.
He looked like a beautiful baby.
We were filled with what he WON'T DO.
They said he probably won’t ride a bike.
Eat by mouth.
He could be a bagger at a grocery store.
We even received sympathy cards in the mail.
As a family we immediately fell in love and Nathaniel came home.
We treated him like any other child.
His beginning was bleak.
Nate aspirated on his G-tube and almost died.
He also fought hard to beat a rare breathing disorder.
It took a year full of complications, but Nate prevailed!
We all promised Nate that he will be treated just like everyone else.
That wasn’t easy.
We had so many glass ceilings to break.
We began speaking at hospitals and schools.
Education is key.
Nate has proven EVERYONE wrong.
He eats like a beast.
Orders the most expensive item on the menu.
He rides his bike.
He’s as funny as any SNL character.
He’s a leader and a straight A student.
Nate has won over 100 medals in the Special Olympics.
Nate is a model.
Nate is a friend.
Nate has defied all the odds and we are constantly in awe.
We raise the bar daily and he blows us away every time.
Nate deserves everything anybody else could have.
In a few weeks Nate will be modeling in Los Angeles fashion week.
Nate loves dressing up. He picks out his own clothes and he wears it with confidence like a movie star.
Nate is more like you than he is different.
Ask someone different a question!
Get to know them.
Now Nate is a CEO of his own shirt company.
You sure were wrong.
Welcome to 21 Pineapples.
Remember at the end of the day all we want is to be
I think Nate can teach us all something.
Reach for the stars with love and kindness.
I think the world is ready.