The other day Tristan and I were talking about Frankie having a family of her own. I told him she might not. But he was insisting, in the way that he does, that she could. Knowing that he was not understanding the bigger picture, I blurted out “Tristan, sometimes people with Down syndrome are not able to live on their own and take care of themselves.” To which he replied: “Mom, I am more than willing to live with this little girl when we grow up.” Cue the tears…!

Of course this has crossed my mind. Who will take care of Frankie when Seb or I are not able to? I have thought for a long time that that is not something I would want to ask Tristan to do. I want him to be able to live a life that is full and meaningful to him as much as I want that for her. I know we must do our best to provide and plan for her adulthood so she is not a burden to him. I would hate to think that his choices in life – whether they be career or family oriented – would be dictated by having to care for a sibling. Shamefully, I worry that potential partners might be scared off by a man who comes as a package deal with his disabled sister.

I hate to admit that, but that’s the reality. My silver lining? He is becoming such an exemplary human being just by loving her, that I know his path through life will include her and I’m positive that the person he chooses to give his heart  to will be the type of person who welcomes her with open arms, too.