“If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together.. there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart.. I'll always be with you.”
~A.A. Milne, from "Winnie the Pooh"

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Brimming with Pride

Today I am thankful for Down Syndrome. 
Kind of a strange thing to say, even to me. But the truth is that DS brought something truly special into my life, something I would have missed among all the hustle and bustle that is our lives......Pure, unadulterated joy at the simplest of things.
I'm not by nature a patient person. I like things to happen as I think that they should. I have rushed Caleb through his childhood milestones simply because I could not wait to see what was coming next. But sadly, while jumping from one accomplishment to the next, I missed the point.
I forgot to enjoy today, without the constant hurry to look toward tomorrow.
Having Liddy changed all of that, and a big part of the reason is Down Syndrome.
Her development of new things some times feels like it takes an eternity. It really doesn't, but some days it sure feels like it. We go along for long stretches of time without any real signs of any further advancement. Just the type of thing that before would have drove me absolutely insane. 
Ironically, I'm not the one in a hurry this time. I'm perfectly content with her learning new things whenever she learns them. I understand that even when nothing new is visibly emerging, the wheels are continually turning in her pretty head, just waiting for it all to click. 
This week a whole lot has clicked for Liddy. 
Months of playing peekaboo from the shower have led to my precious girl holding her blankie over her face until we say "Where's Liddy?". The reveal of that gorgeous face brings a multitude of giggles and trust me, she can play this game for hours and not get bored.
Months of therapy have led to a tiny girl with abs of steel, who refuses to sit back in any seat we have and who uses her trunk to pull herself up more often than her arms. This amazing feat has led her to comfortably lean forward in her high chair to pick various items off of the tray! 
Months of clapping and saying YAY when she accomplished even the slightest thing led to the very best early morning greeting this morning...When I leaned over to pick her up from her bed, she gave me her typical good morning sunshine smile and then...wait for it....SHE CLAPPED! :) 
And last but certainly not least, after months of telling her we were going bye-bye and asking her if she wanted to go too, yesterday, as I was riding high on the pride pony already, she looked up at me and said "bye bye". I wasn't sure that I had heard her correctly so I repeated it again...and so did she. 

Would I have been so ecstatic about all of these seemingly small accomplishments before DS became a part of our lives? Probably not. But every single one is something that has literally taken precious Liddy months of work to do. 
That makes each of them a little bit sweeter than they would have been without that extra chromosome.
So today I am thankful for the fact that we're not in a big hurry around here to get to the next accomplishment, the next goal. The future will bring whatever it brings and I, for one, am content with that. 
I'm thankful that I am no longer constantly looking towards tomorrow and forgetting to live in the present. Today is a pretty awesome day, and well worth the time it takes to slow down and drink in these precious moments that I already know are fleeting. 
And I have DS to thank for teaching me that lesson. 

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