First and foremost, the words “never” and ” not ever” are not part of our vocabulary in this house. We use the power of yet. Henry is not walking yet. Henry is not talking yet. Henry is not potty trained yet. Henry is not interested in dating yet. Yet is one of the biggest tools we have. Yet is a source of hope and happiness. We refuse to predetermine Henry’s life with “will not ever.” Henry is not yet.
Many adults with Down Syndrome date or marry. People with DS socialize and have meaningful friendships. Some choose to date, maintain ongoing relationships, and/or marry. We read about people with Down syndrome getting married more and more all the time.
At first I was fearful and mourned all the experiences I thought he may never have, but after seeing our geneticist we were informed that until recently the biggest thing limiting people with Down Syndrome from experiencing romance, marriage, or having a family was our society. Stigma and ableism were the only things in the way. And to that: we will never limit him. If he wants to have a steady girlfriend or get married someday, we support that. If he is not interested in romance, we are supportive of that too. We just want him to be happy.
We are not at all worried about Henry forming friendships. He is a very affectionate little guy and enjoys giving hugs. I can say completely objectively that he gives the very best, earnest hugs. If he doesn’t mean it with all his heart, you will not be getting a Henry hug. Henry can open up to people but he is immediately very sure of who he likes and who he doesn’t care to be near and will let you know ASAP.
He is a bit of a ladies man. He seems to prefer blondes and red-heads, but any genuine smile can turn his head. Henry already has the sweetest girlfriend at school ever! They are wonderful playmates and have been best buds since they were 1! They are so chill with each other. She’s gorgeous and he just stares at her! ❤️💕
I do dread the big boy-man adult conversations about consent, respect, responsibility, safety and PDA…But he is two years old and we will get there when we get there. But we will be having those discussions early- make no mistake. I think every parent dreads those direct conversations though, but in the meantime we are doing our best to raise a little 2 year old gentleman.