Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Surprised by Joy

Dearest Lily,

Today was a monumental day in the Rice household....

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...you wore pigtails!


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Okay, so they were little spikey wisps of hair pulled as tight as could be into the tiniest rubber bands imaginable, but they were pigtails nonetheless. It's crazy how those tiny golden tufts can change your look so much- you looked like such a big girl with them in!
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I think you felt like a big girl too, because you decided to find the best toy big girls can play with...

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...and sure enough you knew exactly what to do with it. I have a feeling we're going to have to hold you off on this particular toy for awhile, because you are very adept at pressing buttons and calling people on my speed dial. Ahem.

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When Mama took the phone away, you were so mad you pulled your pigtails out. I smoothed you hair down, put a clip in...and you promptly decided to crawl over and help Caleb with his schoolwork. ANY time you see a pencil or pen in someone's hand or lying on the floor, you make a beeline for it, army crawling ferociously all the way to grab it as fast you can. I don't know if it's because it's a forbidden item, but you just get this mischievous little grin on your face whenever you pick one up, and then you scribble furiously on anything in front of you... a piece of paper, a coloring book, the floor...

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Maybe you'll be an artist some day. Maybe a writer.

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Maybe you'll start your own blog...

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I remember a year ago thinking a lot of those dreams were impossible. I remember wondering if you would ever be able to read. It hurt so much to think that maybe we couldn't share things like your other brothers and sisters have shared with me.

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But here you are only 15 months old, and already you have this curious, spunky little personality.

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You're so full of life and charm, and you just keep us all laughing with your little daily antics- how could I have thought you would be anything less than who you are today? It's crazy, but I really have been surprised by the joy that your beautiful 21st chromosome has brought us.

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I don't know where I got my preconceived notions of what a baby or child with Down syndrome would be like. Honestly, Lily, I don't think I ever really took the time to understand what that extra chromosome meant before having you. In my mind it just meant something missing, something to be a little afraid of, or uncomfortable with.

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Your sister Mackenzie works in a sandwich shop every day. Yesterday she came home and told me about two young girls with Down syndrome who came in to order sandwiches for themselves. They had no one else with them, they just walked in together, two girls out on the town. Kenzie said they were so cute- and had quite the personalities! One of the girls told Kenz she wanted sweet onions on her sandwich, and when sissy went to put them on, she said, "Could you put a little more on please? And then mayo and peppers and you're done!" She said she was so matter-of-fact about it, and so confident, she just made Kenzie smile. She texted me about it right afterwards, and I thought about how silly my worries were, regarding what your life might be like some day.

I would have loved to meet those girls yesterday. I remember last year, when I wasn't quite ready to go on a Buddy Walk just yet. I was worried about meeting teenagers and adults with Down syndrome...I just wasn't prepared to see that far into the future.

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And now I can't wait until September rolls around, and our Buddy Walk with it. I can't wait to go see what our future holds, to have my preconceived notions blown out of the water by the people we meet.

You've blessed our lives so much in your 15 short months, Lily Anne, and challenged our expectations at every turn. I can't wait to be surprised again, by joy.

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Loving you always,

Mama oxox


18 comments:

stephanie said...

oh Patti, I remember last year and the Buddy walk. I remember you saying "not this year". I so wanted you to change your mind. But I knew you would be ready this year. You have changed so much in a year. God has worked fast and furious in you.

From not being ready for the walk to becoming the biggest advocate there is. Did you think God had these plans in mind for you when Lily was born?

Last night in bed I was thanking God for Em. As you know we are going through a stressful and plain scary time right now and I know it's Emmie that is keeping us all sane. And i thought if God came to me before Em was born, and said , "look your about to go through the most trying time of your life, I'm about to push you all to your limits and I've got just the thing to help you through. A little girl with Ds." I would have jumped off the nearest bridge. now I see we would have jumped if we didn't have her. How God knows...

Michelle Z said...

the pigtails!! TOO MUCH CUTE! Give her a squeeze for me, okay!?

kecia said...

she is so cute! LOVE the pigtails!

Jenny said...

The pigtails are adorable!! Beautiful post, as always :)

Mrs. K said...

Oh my precious Lilybird. You look just like your Mama when she was your age...tiny, fair, and such whispy hair. I used to tape bows in her hair, there weren't head bands back then. Aunt Hopie used to use maple syrup to put bows in Jade's hair...wish I had thought of that way back when.

Good for you showing Mama you didn't like her taking the phone away...you showed her good...just take out those pretty ponytails. Let her know you are not a push over...you have your rights to girl stuff like phones. :>)

WOW are you practicing climbing and sliding? And writing as well? What a nice brother Caleb is to let you help with his school work.

Love ya pipsqueek, Grammi

Runningmama said...

She is just precious, I love that she makes a bee-line for any writing tool and scribbles on things, a future artist in the making if she chooses. I love the pigtails too, so cute! Thank you for sharing the story of the two girls with DS that came into the shop where your daughter works, I get so encouraged by stories like this and no matter how many I hear, I still crave more and more of them :-)

Rochelle said...

The pigs are adorable! Lily I think you get cuter and cuter! YEAH for you being ready to celebrate her at the Buddy Walk! WOO HOO what a great time that will be!

Elisabeth said...

Oh what cute pigtails! They are just darling! And I love that Lily likes to scribble on everything. Maybe she'll write a book someday!

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

just so lovely i cannot say! so glad you are going on the buddy walk this year xxxx

Roo's Mom said...

So, so cute! Patti, you will love the Buddy Walk. It's so great to see tons of families with kids with Down syndrome, but also tons of people who are there to support them.

Tara said...

I hope Lily likes older men. Eon sat mesmerized as I read this post and kept pointing at Lily and "commenting". I think he really liked her pony tails! :)

Ilisa Ailts said...

Aww, so cute with piggies and leggings! What a girlie girl. I love your blog (and so do many others!)

Beth said...

Thank-you for such an honest, heart felt message with your pictures. I am still reeling at times with the fact that my son has Down Syndrome. It still makes me down and I still cry, not as often as I use to, but knowing that people like you that are out there, accepting and loving your child warms my heart. I pray every day for peace in my heart and acceptance and understanding. Thank-you,
Beth and Malakai
Ps, your babys pigtails are way cute!

The Abell Family said...

Patti, she is precious. I love her smile. Thank you for posting so openly and honestly and thank you for all you do to make others aware of DS and what a blessing it is. I can't wait to see where God takes Lily through the years. Sending you hugs from Washington.

Katy said...

Oh my goodness, Patti, she is absolutely AMAZING. I love the pigtails and seeing all of the wonderful things she is doing. She is an unbelievable blessing. :-) Love to you all!

Anonymous said...

Just when I think that the pictures cannot get any cuter of Lily........ I LOVE the pigtails!!

Love the story about Kenzie and the girls with down syndrome. That blesses my heart.

Love,
Cara

aly win said...

Dear Lilly !
I just wanted to let you know that you were the prettiest and most lady like baby at the NW Conference! Everyone was whispering about what a charming and sweet and wonderful little girl you are ! I can not wait to see the future and the IMPACT your life will bring TO ALL OF US ! your gonna change the our worlds little one ! Much love - aly and lil' man ryder!

Lacey said...

Look at those little piggy tails!! Her little Buddha belly is just like Arina's. I bet they are about the same size!