by Travis Cole
Bennett Emerson Cole was born on June 8, 2018. He weighed just 5lbs, 12oz when born and was 17.5 inches long. The smallest of our kids by far. The pregnancy was normal and he showed early signs that he may have Down syndrome, but that actually dissolved and we were told he was normal and healthy. When he was born we noticed his ears were a bit weird and asked a nurse, as he was our 4th child and it wasn’t common in the other kids. He was then taken for about 45 minutes and looked at by our on-call doctor. The doctor who is our other children’s physician was the one on-call and told us that he suspected Trisomy 21. That was confirmed with blood testing. He has had a couple of surgeries so far in his life. Luckily, none on his heart, though that continues to be monitored. He sleeps with a heart monitor and oxygen as he has severe sleep apnea. He is also having surgery this summer on his tear ducts and sinuses.
Let’s move on to the positives which, in our eyes, is everything. As you all know, people with Trisomy 21 are truly the most loving, caring, and happy people in this world. Bennett is the son we always wanted, but just didn’t know it. He has three older sisters who worship him and everything he does. He has started trying to walk and he just got his teeth, so that is new for him. He has a slow esophagus, so foods are tricky, but speech therapy helps us out a lot. He is an amazing kid. People fear things being wrong with their children as parents. We want healthy, brilliant kids who can do anything. So people with Down syndrome get looked upon differently. It’s a tragedy that this happens. Down syndrome is worrisome for sure–the health issues and everything–but any kid can have health issues. I feel Down syndrome is amazing. My son is happy ALL THE TIME. No one else gets that. As an adult, I know life and sadness and rough times. He makes up for all that. Bennett loves to play, loves to eat, and loves to mimic everything we do around him. Music is his favorite thing. He laughs and dances and loves it all. He catches on quickly and is just so darn cute.
Bennett is turning 2 soon and even though he is the size of a 1 year-old he is as sassy as a 16 year-old! He loves the word NO, so it’s going to be an interesting ride with him far more than normal for sure!
I hope you all have learned a bit about our little guy. It is weird writing something like this, but we tried. You don’t really know how to highlight your child for being different or what not. To us, he is just Bennett Emerson Cole. To us, he is a kid. No issues, no worries, no problems. He is just a kid. He will have a stigma about him in life which he shouldn’t have. No one should, ever. We all eat, breath, sleep, sweat, and cry the same. Some just need help with those things. We are all human. We are all mankind. The way we see it as parents of a child with Trisomy 21 is that we won the lottery. We get to see life from an advantage that most don’t. We get to watch a kid who is full of love and joy grow up. Despite odds or whatever is tossed his way, he still keeps these traits. We should all be so lucky to be like him or anyone like him. It’s a beautiful thing.