I was asked recently what my hopes for Sam’s future are. I don’t usually think about them; I have become accustomed, as he is, to living in the moment, responding to the every day. The future, which once seemed so frightening, a black hole into which my fear fell, amplified by scary sounding medical terms, is no longer so distant. Sam will be leaving school in just two short years. OK, so I know he’ll be off to college of one sort or another, but there you are. He won’t be my small boy any more.
So at the future I was forced to look. And the idea of hopes and dreams, which I so long ago abandoned, returned, changed immeasurably by Down’s syndrome, and yet, funnily enough, not so very much at all.
We want the same things for Sam that we want for our other children, namely, that he grows up with the self confidence to take on whatever life throws at him. We hope he will find someone to love, and who loves him in return. We hope that he knows what a loving relationship is, and accepts nothing less. We hope that he treats other people with kindness. We hope that, as he grows into adulthood, that he has choices and opportunities to fulfil his own dreams and desires, and that there are people around him who give him the opportunity to do this, rather than imposing their own expectations upon him. We hope that when he wants to do something that, to us, may seem difficult, there are people around him who can help it come to pass, and that he lives his life with the respect of others and dignity for himself.
Our greatest hope is that Sam’s future remains an open book.