Today was a monumental day in the Rice household....
...you wore pigtails!
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!
I think you felt like a big girl too, because you decided to find the best toy big girls can play with...
...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.
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...
Maybe you'll be an artist some day. Maybe a writer.
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.
But here you are only 15 months old, and already you have this curious, spunky little personality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Loving you always,