Breaking the news to our nearest and dearest, tears flowed and there were endless apologies.
There’s nothing to be sorry about, I thought, looking at my five-month-old son, Floyd-Henry. Cradled in my arms, he grinned up at me – perfect in every way.
‘You’re going to be small, that’s all,’ I smiled.
See, my husband Ross and I had just found out that our first born had a rare condition called Achondroplasia – a type of dwarfism.
The diagnosis was a shock, but we were so grateful for our precious boy. There was certainly no need for tears!
So, we created a blog and posted a video, which celebrated Floyd-Henry and his differences.
‘Floydy will be short – a little man, a little dude, a little legend,’ Ross explained to the camera.
We wanted to dispel any misconceptions right off the bat. Floydy’s ability to learn would be in no way affected by his condition.
‘As a matter of fact, due to his intelligent parents, he will be a little genius, so watch out, he’s already a little smarty pants,’ Ross joked.
Uploading the clip, we got exactly what we were looking for – an outpouring of love and positivity.
Viewed millions of times around the globe, our Floydy Pops went viral!
Afterwards, an amazing mum, Mel, emailed me a photo of her adorable baby boy, Ante.
I’m a little person just like you. Will you be my friend? she’d written.
Floydy even got a letter from a really cool dude named Bailey, in his 20s, from Toowoomba.
A drummer in a band, he also happened to share our boy’s condition.
Everything’s going to be good, mate! he wrote.
Just after Floydy’s first birthday, Ross and I had another announcement.
We were expecting twins!
When Cleo and Harrison arrived, Floydy beamed with pride.
‘My bubbas,’ he declared, cuddling his tiny siblings.
But the littlest members of our tribe didn’t stay that way for long.
Turning one, the twins were already taller than their big brother.
But that didn’t matter to Floydy – they were still his bubbas and he was their big brother.
Once Cleo and Harry were big enough to run, the three of them were forever having races. And while Floydy tried his hardest to keep up, his siblings would whiz past on their longer legs.
So resilient, coming last never phased him. Crossing the finishing line, he’d grin so hard you’d think he was the winner.
And like his daddy had predicted, Floydy was a real smarty pants, devising countless ways to stump his siblings.
‘You have to go that way, Harry,’ he directed his brother. ‘And I’ll go this way,’ Floydy added, taking a much shorter route.
But my tiny trickster still had a heart of gold.
‘Mummy, you’re my best friend,’ he shouted as he zipped past, scoring first place.
Floydy and the twins were all too young to realise he was different to other kids.
Still, Ross and I knew the questions would begin sooner or later.
So, before Floydy started preschool this year, we began acting out role-plays.
‘Floydy, if anyone asks you why you are small, what do you say?’ I’d prompt him.
‘My bones grow slowly!’ my clever boy would reply.
And it paid off.
‘Mum, if my friends say I’m a baby, I say, “No! I’m a big boy – I’m almost four”,’ he exclaimed, proudly.
But I’d never know how it felt to be in Floydy’s shoes, so last year Ross and I took him to the Short Statured Convention in Lake Macquarie.
There, we met Jono, who had a similar type of dwarfism, his wife Alyssa, who had Achondroplasia, and their bub Sienna.
Jono played with Floydy loads and our little guy adored him!
‘Mummy, will I be this big,’ Floydy asked later, stretching his arms out as wide as they could go.
‘Or this big?’ he said, drawing his hands in a tad closer.
‘That one,’ I said.
‘Will I be like Jono?’
‘Yep,’ I nodded.
And Floydy’s response was like music to my ears.
‘Ohhh, I like Jono,’ he beamed.
With Floydy’s fifth birthday just around the corner, he’s 87cm tall – about the size of a one-year-old.
Out and about, our family gets a lot of attention.
‘Are they triplets?’ passers-by ask in the shops.
Sometimes, curiosity will get the better of some strangers and I’ll catch them gawking.
I never make a scene, but I do find I get caught in a lot of stare-offs!
It’s human nature to be intrigued, but I’d much prefer it if people came up to say hello instead. I promise it’ll make their day.
What Floydy lacks in size, he makes up for in spirit. I’ve never met another child with such capacity for kindness.
If Floydy is given a single lolly snake while Cleo and Harry are out with their dad, he’ll hang onto it for hours.
When his besties are back home, he’ll split his treat into three and share.
I wouldn’t change our little legend for the world.
His heart is huge – and that is what matters.