Three Little Angels Giveaway still open!!
Last year I read on another mom's blog that sometimes she almost forgets her son has Down syndrome. And honestly, Lily? I thought she was lying. Well, maybe not lying on purpose...I just didn't think she was being totally honest with her feelings, or maybe she was putting a little sugar coated spin on life so people reading would think Down syndrome wasn't really such a big deal.
And it's not that it is such a big deal for you right now. I mean- you're just a happy baby, exploring the world around you and discovering new things every day.
It's true that you aren't standing alone or walking yet...actually, you're not even crawling yet. You army crawl everywhere, but you have yet to get up on all fours and crawl.
There are some definite "lags" in your development right now, for sure. But for the most part I just spend each day amazed at all the things you can do, and I'm so busy being proud of those accomplishments that I truly do sometimes...forget...that you have Down syndrome.
I remember just 6 months ago watching how you handled things- delicately and a little mechanically and deliberately, as if you were thinking, "now fingers: grasp that toy" while you reached for an object. I remember watching a video of another baby reaching for and grabbing a doll and rocking it back and forth- smooth, fluid movements that came so naturally- and it hurt to think you were so different. The words of that other mommy, stating carelessly that sometimes she just forgets her son had Down syndrome, seemed to mock my daily- hourly- obsession with what your diagnosis might mean for your future.
And it wasn't that those hours were filled with grief or mourning or hurt, Lily. I don't want anyone looking back at those days to think you were anything other than truly celebrated- because you were and are our most celebrated gift.
I think it's just that as mommies we are naturally protective and defensive of our children. We don't want anyone to question the beauty or worth of our babies. And let's face it- in an age when the abortion rate for babies receiving a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome is at 93%...it is natural to feel a certain level of defensiveness.
I distinctly remember the quietness of the room and the look on the doctor's face when I was pregnant with your brother Jackson 5 years ago at the ripe old age of 38. She calmly and professionally slid a piece of paper across the table towards me, and with a grave look on her face quoted my odds of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome at my "advanced maternal age." I stared blankly at the numbers, as she drew a red circle around the statistics that coincided with my age...and I silently wondered how many mamas weighed their baby's lives in the balance based on that slip of paper.
And here we are now Lily, years later, you and I...
We've made our own little contribution to those statistics, and I sometimes think about going back to that doctor's office and proudly showing her you. I want to tell her that although others may try to draw distinctive lines in the sand as far as who is worthy of life and who is not...
...sometimes I truly do forget you have Down syndrome. And it's not because there aren't challenges you face or that you don't have to work a little harder at things. It's because loving you is as easy as breathing, and that horrible, scary thing that women are tested for during pregnancy?.... it's not all it's cracked up to be.
When I think of the blessing I might have missed out on, the every day joy that you bring, had I heeded the implied warning in those grim numbers...
...it makes me want to tell the world about the treasure that you are.
And the beauty, the blessing, the incredible sense of purpose that has accompanied your magical extra chromosome in life? Well, it has me wanting to shout it from the rooftops....
I am not afraid. I was born to do this.