The Diamonds in Her Eyes

“Mommy, why does Sienna have diamonds in her eyes?” Haley asks as she stares into her sister’s eyes while they embrace.

I smile. “They do look like diamonds, Haley. They are called Brushfield spots. People who have Down syndrome can have them.” 

Brushfield spots are beautiful white specs that are slightly elevated on the surface of the iris. They are arranged in a ring concentric with the pupil. These spots do not have an effect on vision and normal functioning of the iris and pupil. Some people say they resemble stars. Haley saw diamonds. They are by far my favorite genetic trait associated with Down syndrome. I could stare into Sienna’s beautiful diamond eyes all day. 


Typical individuals can have Brushfield spots as well, but they are much more common in folks with Down syndrome. I wish that the nurse and doctor who delivered Sienna’s diagnosis had pointed out the beautiful diamonds in her eyes. That would have shown me just a small glimpse into the beauty of this life.

When I watch Sienna take in the world around her, I think she sees things in a different light, a brighter light. She sees the world as a more joy filled place than the rest of us. And that could quite possibly be, because of the literal twinkle in her eyes.

“Everyone wants to be seen. Everyone wants to be heard. Everyone wants to be recognized as the person that they are and not a stereotype or an image.” -Loretta Lynch


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