I took my four year old son to a neighbor’s birthday party at a gymnastics facility yesterday.  I had never been to a party like this and was not sure what to expect or how my son would fare with the other guests, the majority of whom were nine year old girls.  It turned out to be a really fun experience for him, allowing him to try gymnastics equipment and interact with older children he hadn’t met before.  It was also a chance for me to focus on only him while my older son and younger daughter stayed at home with my husband.

One activity required running around a circle of hoops.  I watched the look of pure happiness on his face as he ran and it touched me.  So often, I get caught up in the tedious details of raising children, but seeing my son in a moment of genuine joy reminds me that my children are miracles.  I am so thankful that I have had the privilege of seeing all three of them run.  It is a simple thing, but I know it is not something every parent gets to do.

It is an experience I could not envision when my oldest son was born with Trisomy 21 seven years ago.  His diagnosis was a shock to us and left us initially sad and scared.  I remember watching him when he was a newborn and trying to envision him running in the future.  I couldn’t.  There was no reason for me to think that he would not run, I was just so consumed by the diagnosis in the beginning that it was hard to see past it.

Seven years later, I have had countless opportunities to watch him run.  It is one of my greatest joys.  On the way home from the party yesterday, my four year old said, “That party was so fun!  My heart is full of air.”  I agreed, my heart is “full of air” whenever I see my children joyfully running.  So, when all three are running circles around me as I try to get them out the door, I am going to try to pause and be thankful that my heart is repeatedly filled with air.

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