As some of you know, and as I have mentioned a post or two ago, this month is Down's Syndrome Awareness month. In the blogging world, this is a major month for blogging families as we undertake "31 for 21". What that means is that we have made a pledge that in order to spread awareness and education about what DS is, we are vowing to blog every day for the entire month of October. This is my first year being part of this amazing community and so, of course, I jumped on board. I have no idea how well it's going to work out with all of my other responsibilities, but I figured if all of these other mamas can do it, I can too. Even if it's just a line or two every day.
It turns out that I still have a whole lot to say.
The posts of the last two days haven't been appreciated by everyone, but as sorry as I am that I might have offended someone, I have to stand by my words. I firmly believe that my readers, my friends, my family, even people who randomly find my blog and stick around to read a little aren't the people that my last post was directed towards. To me, it's pretty obvious that YOU don't feel that way, or you wouldn't be on my page in the first place, right?
This blog is a creative outlet for whatever is either rambling around inside my head or for what is weighing heavily on my heart, as well as a place where I can shamelessly brag on how amazing Lydia is, where I can try in some small way to educate others and lend support to others walking this road. A place where I can chronicle the twists and turns and beauty of this amazing road we're on.
It's not always sunshine and roses, and some of my posts are still to this day heart breaking for me to read. I have sincerely faltered several times; tripping over my own fears and wrestling with my faith. I have cried more in one year than I have for probably the last 20 combined. I have spent countless hours in steady conversation with God and to be honest, those conversations aren't always blissfully loving, patient, or some days, even pleasant. I haven't always been thankful for Down's Syndrome, and sometimes I downright hate it all together.
But I have to say, sitting here this morning with the strains of Sesame Street and my precious girl babbling playing as the morning soundtrack of my life, that I see more and more about Down's Syndrome to be thankful for every day.
It just so happens that this has been a whole lot easier to come to grips with without open heart surgery hanging over our heads. :)
I have grown to love so many things....That hazy moment every morning when I'm still half asleep and I can hear Liddy beside me in her playpen, quietly chattering to herself happily. Then there's is that moment when I lean over her playpen to pick her up and she beams up at me. She endlessly fascinates me with her endless stream of silly faces, her little diva attitude, and her bubbly chatter. I can stare at her for hours (I thought this would end eventually haha!), marveling every second I gaze at her at how breathtakingly beautiful she is. Every accomplishment, every smile that I know is just for me, every laugh at something I do or something I say. All cause for great celebration. I adore the way she looks at me, like I am a cool drink of water on the hottest day, with eyes full of absolute trust and pure love. I love that she laughs when I kiss her. The way she covers her mouth and ducks into me when she smiles her biggest smile, so like my Nana, melts my heart every single time. Even food filled raspberries that cover me (and her and everything else within a 5 ft radius!) can't help but make me smile (even though I try to not let it show.....probably won't be so cute when she's 4!).
And then comes bedtime. Is she spoiled? Oh yes. But I find that I can't resist the draw of cuddling up with her, knowing that she will snuggle in tight, wrap her hand in my hair, and slowly melt into me as she falls asleep. She watches me the entire time. Even as her eyes grow heavier and heavier, they are glued on me, like she's afraid I'm a dream.
She is the dream. The dream that I am still afraid will have disappeared when I open my eyes each morning. The one that should have never come true.
My best guess is that as time goes on I will continue to fall more in love, not with Down's Syndrome itself, but with the beauty it brings to my life through her. I've said it before, and I will say it again (and probably again sometime down the road), my daughter is adored. She is God's greatest blessing to this family.
She isn't defined by Down's Syndrome. But she wouldn't be her without it.