Down Syndrome: A Father’s Perspective
by Michael Knauss
When we planned our family, thoughts of children went through our dreams like perfect little cut-out paper dolls.
Witnessing my two daughters being born—wow, what a joy, an experience, a complete honor! Our daughters always brought feelings of happiness and pure bliss!
And when our third daughter Anna was born, something was distinctly different. She looked different, and the doctor mentioned Down syndrome. I had heard of Down syndrome but never knew a person with DS or any special needs person for that matter.
Getting Past the Unknown
My wife and I were told that having a special child was like arriving at a destination that was different than originally planned. We had finally arrived to the unknown, but for me the unknown was scary. At times, I felt sad and uninformed not knowing how to act or what my daughter’s future would be like, but still happy and elated just the same at the arrival of our beautiful child.
Anna’s mom is a true soldier; she only had love in her eyes, no negativity. Together, we saw that our child was God’s creation and that our job is to love, nurture and steer her in the right direction.
A Father’s Pride
Now, Anna is twenty-six years young and she is my inspiration, joy, and happiness! Watching her blossom into the amazing young women she’s become is a gift. She is intelligent, versatile, and athletic. She is loving, thoughtful, and gracious; she is also stubborn, unpredictable, independent, and sometimes gets very upset. Sounds like all of us. It may sound cliché, but she is the apple of my eye. Of course I feel that way about her sisters too. But it has been a very different destination than was planned, but I couldn’t imagine this life without her. She’s my sweetie and I love her to pieces. As her father, I am blessed.
I love you, Anna. Love, Dad.
Happy Father’s Day to all the special Dads out there.
[bctt tweet=”A Special Letter from a Father on Father’s Day” username=”embracespectrum”]
Michael Knauss lives in Holland, PA with his daughter Anna Knauss and wife Andrea Knauss, author of Reason to Smile: Celebrating People Living with Down syndrome, a compilation of short stories celebrating Down syndrome. Learn more at www.reasonstosmilebook.com.