Tuesday, June 28, 2011

no regrets

Dearest Lily,

There are moments of every day when it hits me how my fears of the past had very little to do with reality, and everything to do with how unfamiliar I was with Down syndrome.

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Just today it really dawned on me how there is such a natural relationship between you and your brothers and sisters, and how at one time I thought that would be hindered because of that extra chromosome. I really didn't have a clue how things were going to play out over time... but here we are almost a year and a half into this thing and I'm realizing that there is no difference between the way you interact with your siblings and the way any of our "typical" children interacted with each other.

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There is give and take, there are funny moments, happy moments, sad moments...you adore each other and laugh with each other and sometimes you even get on each other's nerves. You play favorites sometimes, preferring to be held by your younger sister, while snubbing your older sister, or you reach for one brother while another one is trying to snuggle you.

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You share your toys nicely most of the time, but you also like to swipe the forbidden ones away...like crucial pieces to a game of Risk right when someone is about to win...and you like to army crawl over as fast as you can to bang on the keyboard if anyone is trying to send an email from their laptop...or write a blog post...


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You are so doted on and entertained, and the main argument I find myself having to break up is whose turn it is to hold you! Each of your brothers and sisters, from the oldest to the youngest, takes turns doing therapy with you- which is really just playing games with you to help you to learn. Jackson loves to do flashcards with you, and he's so good at congratulating you when you get them right...

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This afternoon our neighbor friend, Ari, came over to play. A little while after he got here, he wanted to know if Jackson could come over to his backyard to see his fort. I didn't have time to go with him, and Jack is too little to go by himself....nobody can turn the tears on like your brother, and he tried his hardest to use those tears to change my mind about letting him go with Ari. When he lost that battle, he quickly turned to his greatest ally for sympathy...

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The look of concern on your face was so priceless. You reached your tiny arms out to comfort him and buried your sympathetic little face in his chest, while he cried out his woes to you.

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It took all of five seconds for Jackson's tears to dissolve, and then he was grinning and telling me to "take a picture of me and Lils, Mama!"

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I remember the day you were born, wondering how we were going to tell your brothers and sisters you had Down syndrome, without breaking their hearts. I just wanted them to love you and accept you and not worry about anything....I wanted so much for life to be "normal" for them, with no regrets about who you were.

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I'd be lying if I said there wasn't initial shock when we told them who it was God had given us, shortly after you were born. But you know what I've found? Kids are resilient- they almost instinctively know that one little chromosome does not change love, and just like Jackson's little episode today, it took all of about five seconds for them to wipe their tears and move on. There is such a bond between you and your siblings, and as crazy as it sounds, it is almost stronger than the one they share with each other. Maybe it's because they love you so much and want to protect you from any hurts that might come in life, or maybe it's just because you're so darn loveable, but one thing I know- you will always, always be surrounded by siblings who adore you.


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Loving you always,

Mama oxox

30 comments:

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

ok crying again!! you should take out shares in waterproof mascara! i love and adore the pics of lily and her brother! they are precious. xxxx

Rochelle said...

Beautiful as always. So thankful for how far you have come and how well educated on ds you have become. You are one great advocate!

Team Lando said...

I love her concern for her brother - Precious!

Crazy Beautiful Love said...

That is so beautiful. I think we all felt the same way when our designer gene kiddo arrived...what about the sibling(s)? But the LOVE is so great between them. I know it is at my house and I can see it in the pictures you share.
Ignorance. That is the word I use often. That is how I explain it to those without "special" kids...that feeling of not knowing and being ever so wrong about DS.
Thanks for sharing, your post and Lily.
-erin

Mrs. Mama said...

as always... beautiful.

Janie Fox said...

you always make me cry and make me happy. I just know our Ollie is going to rock our world!

nicole said...

“If a child is given love, he becomes loving...If he's helped when he needs help, he becomes helpful. And if he has been truly valued at home... he grows up secure enough to look beyond himself to the welfare of others." ~ Dr. Joyce Brothers

Good job Mama & Rice kiddos ~ Lily has already learned life's most important lessons. I didn't think it was possible, but you're showing Lily how to be even sweeter!

Amy L said...

Now that was precious! My boys don't like it when someone cries either. Caleb is the first one to give a hug and then look at you and say "Happy?"

Anna Theurer said...

Absolutely beautiful. Love the photos of Lils with your son. Priceless

amy said...

lots of head nodding and smiling going on over here...

and that pic of jackson and lily...be still my heart!

Jenny said...

Beautiful! I often remember back to worrying about the same thing. What the kids would think of Russell, if they would be embarrassed...If Russell would be the brother Raist had hoped for. And now I see how silly that was. There is no bond greater than that of siblings. And it is so beautiful to see. They accept, love, adore, and protect.
Loved this post Patti!

angie said...

Awwww, what a ray of sunshine she is! Love the relationship between brother and sister- so sweet, and count me in on the ones who are constantly crying when they read your blog. Just so very touching.

Runningmama said...

So very precious!

Ashley said...

So precious! I love those two little ones so much :)

cara said...

I LOVE Nicole's quote! SO true. Oh Patti- Lily is just SO loveable and cute and precious. She is SO very loved and she loves SO very much. I know how thankful you all are for her. We feel the same way in our family with Benji. My kiddos also fight over who gets to hold him daily.

Tears again and again, but good tears.

Leah and Nick said...

The lovability factor seems pretty strong to me. This post makes me excited to have more children so Cora can experience some of what you describe.

rickwsmith said...

Hey! Thanks for the comment on my blog! I'm so glad you did, because I was able to find your site!

Your little girl is SOOOO adorable! I"m not sure if she'd be interested in a younger man...but if so I may know someone! :)

-Rick
Noah's Dad

Patti said...

LOL, Rick- Lily has a waiting line, but Noah is so cute he may knock the competition to the end of it! :) I think I may be getting your help on putting cool videos together and doing cool techy things like hyper linking and html codes on comments! Love your blog!

Heidi Ehle said...

Its so wonderful for me to see the love between your sweet Lily and her siblings....Our boys love Liddy to death, but she's pretty small for major interactions just yet. She does react to them now more than she did before..she thinks Caleb is about the funniest thing she's ever seen! I look forward to watching that bond grow as the years pass by, and I'm pretty sure that no boy is ever going to get anywhere near her! lol

Pam said...

That is so precious, Patti! Lily reaching out to hug Jackson just tore at the heartstrings!!

Amy said...

omgosh, sooooooo sweet!!!

Callie said...

It truly is a magical relationship our kids have with their siblings. Lily is a doll!

stephen kopp said...

Oh my poor Jackson, I started crying when I saw that sad, sad face and his tears. If Grammi had been there we could have gone together to see Ari's fort. And just for a split second I saw Joshia in Lils profile as she is watching Jackson cry.

You all have come a long way since Lily's birth. "And a little child shall lead them."

stephen kopp said...

OOOPS using Papa's PC again so the above comment says it is from Stephen Kopp. hee hee

rickwsmith said...

@Patti - you bet! I'd be glad to help you!

I'm a tech geek so Im into that sort of stuff!

-Rick
Noah's Dad

Erin B said...

I always love your music selection, so beautiful! Also, the picture of Lily hugging Jackson is precious. You caught a priceless moment of love. Thanks for sharing your honest growth through your journey, we can all learn from you :)

Diane said...

Patti...I have been reading your beautiful blog about lovely Lily for a few months but when I saw the pictures of Lily and Jackson I had to comment. Our first grandchild Jackson (such a great name!) was born last December with DS. We knew there was a strong possibility and waiting it out was such an emotional roller coaster, but we had no idea what joy he would bring to our lives. Thanks for sharing your own journey. I have enjoyed reading about your wonderful family. May God continue to bless you.

Gretchen said...

I've had a crappy week (bad car wreck Monday, boo!) but I can always count on your blog and gorgeous pictures to cheer me up. Lily lovin' on Jackson is ADORABLE.

Patti said...

Oh Gretchen, I'm so sorry! I'll be praying for you!

Crystal said...

I've seen you comment 100 times over on Kelle Hamptons site. One of your comments tonight made me click over to your site.

Beautiful!

Crying just like I do on Enjoying the Small Things.

What a beautiful family you have and what a precious blog!