Since Michael was born with Down syndrome three years ago, we have planted lots of tiny seeds and waited patiently for his language to sprout. As his mommy I have had the joy of watching it all unfold, talking and singing to him throughout the day, driving him to speech therapy, introducing new words and signs, and hearing him say “bye-bye” to all the new friends he passed at the grocery store. It has been slow and tedious, with many dry spells. Like the magical day he said "Mama" and then the months and months that passed when he wouldn’t say it again. It was as if he had never said it at all, didn’t know my name. And then, a couple of weeks ago, he looked me straight in the eyes and said “Ma, Ma, Mom, Mom, Mom!” Words can’t describe the joy I felt in my heart. There have also been frustrations, like the months and months when he would bite his one-year-old sister Mary and pull her hair, and it seemed he had no idea what "no" meant. The days when I would drive five young kids to yet another doctor’s appointment or medical facility and wonder if I had the strength or patience to keep going. And, then it happened, just when I least expected it, a beautiful flower blossomed. Yesterday, Michael had fallen asleep in his high chair after eating lunch. I didn’t have the heart to move him, so I let him sleep. I went into the next room to read a book and must have dozed off. I awoke to this: “Mommy, Mommy, I want my Mommy!” It was Michael shouting from his high chair that he wanted his mommy to come take him down. I was full of joy; my little boy was calling for me, for me! It was the first time he had ever said more than a two-word sentence to me, such as “Give me!” I ran to him, gave him a gigantic hug, and freed him from the high chair. All day long I smiled and smiled, thanking God for making me Michael’s Mommy, and giving me such a beautiful child to love.