My bug: A Story of Independence

Happiness was picking a name for that beautiful baby growing inside me. I do believe a name is a very important thing for a child. You can curse them with a lifetime of shame if you give them a bad one.

Proverbs 22:1 says “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”

My father whom I look up to and admire, his name is Donald Roger. However our last name is Downs and Donald Downs really sounds too similar to Donald Duck. So we choose to use Roger. Kevin picked his middle name. So we ended up with a Roger Douglas. We call him Doug, or bug for short. My bug… what an amazing story this boy has.

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When Doug was just 11 months old he became a big brother. He was an amazing big brother. Luckily he walked already and was always trying to play with his little sister. Even when she would be in her crib (which was in the living room) he would climb up on the couch and look down into her crib and laugh. It was so beautiful to watch the two of them grow up. Holding hands, taking care of each other. I was proud. It was almost too much. When Doug was in preschool, Madelyn got kicked out. The teacher told me this was a time for Doug to make friends and all he did was take care of Maddy. When she had to wash her hands, he would dry them for her. When it was snack time, he would throw away her trash for her. If she was scared, he was there. Always. I call that a good big brother, but I see the teachers point.


Doug actually didn’t talk until he was 3 years old. Everyone kept telling me neither did Einstein and when he was ready he would talk. And he did. Complete sentences to start. I just had to be patient.


In early elementary school Doug showed great potential. He was getting 98 and 99 percentile on the standardized tests. He was way above his peers. The problem was we went to a very small school. (kindergarten through senior all in one school). They had no means to help him. They wouldn’t even let him walk across the hall to the next grade math class. The bigger problem was if he was in a 5th grade math level in 2nd grade and they taught him 5th grade math I think they didn’t know what to do the next year. So eventually we went to a bigger school district with means. Doug blossomed! They immediately skipped him 2 grade levels of math and reading.


Doug participated in the Duke Tip talent search and took his ACT at 12 years old. His overall score was a 20 with a 24 in math. He did very well and they invited him to go the next summer to Trinity University in Texas for the summer and take a computer programming class. This was cool! He got to spend his summer living in a college dorm. He did great in the class too. This is when his independence sprouted. Now, I have to say that momma wasn’t so happy about him being away but I knew it was a good thing for him.

When Doug was 8 he was diagnosed with early melanoma cells. He had 3 tries in the office to get clean borders and then had to under go surgery to remove it between his ribs. They removed a section 2in by 4inches in my poor baby boy. Six months later they had to remove his lymph node in his neck. But this is a happy story so we will end this paragraph with the happy news that this was just a small bump in his road.

One night when Doug was like 14 years old and it was approximately 9pm I caught him leaving the house. He was going to work on the school robot project with another student. But this boy was so independent he never realized that he should actually ask before he left the house. Most teenagers ask permission but since he was doing nothing wrong this was foreign to him. He continued to work on the schools FIRST robot all through high school. This year he is a senior and will be the CTO Chief Technical Officer on the team. He is pretty much the lead programmer.

Two years ago Doug took the ACT again at 15 years old. This time he really rocked it! He got a 33. Which is amazing and in science he got a perfect score of 36!! I practically jumped out of me seat when I found this out! I was soo excited for him. Doors are opening up for him like no doors ever opened up for me. He can pretty much go anywhere. I can’t imagine. I believe he is going to Missouri Science and Tech which is a school that specializes in all kinds of engineering.


If it seems like a paint him with a brush of perfection you are right. He is the closest thing to perfection that I could ever have a hand in. I am super proud of him and can’t wait to see where he goes from here. I love you bug!

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That picture is Doug and his grandfather Donald Roger on a college visit a couple of months ago.


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