“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"

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Thoughts on the Journey....

I've written a whole lot of posts about my feelings about finding out that Liddy has Down syndrome. I don't think that I need to reiterate to anyone who has read my blog over the last year and a half that it was quite a roller coaster ride, even AFTER she was here and I could hug her whenever I wanted to. If you've been in my shoes, you already know what that is like any way.......

 Over the last almost two years, I have learned a whole lot; about Down syndrome, about Liddy, and about myself. Some of those lessons have been hard as Hell to grasp or to accept. Some of them have been painfully difficult just to live through. There have been days that I hated the fact that my sweet baby girl has to work so hard to do things that the babies around us do with very little effort at all. There have been (so many) heartbreaking losses in the extended Ds family over the last year that some days I almost wish that I never had reason to become a member. My empathetic nature makes it hard for me to not feel deeply for those in pain and there simply isn't an off switch for the emotions I feel when another angel joins his or her 47 chromosome brothers and sisters in Heaven, leaving parents, siblings, family and friends confused, sad and broken here on Earth without them.
Despite all of that, the good days far outnumber the bad ones. And the friendships I have made among my fellow parents in the Ds community are as vital to me as the air I breathe. They provide me with love and support and a healthy dash of reality. They encourage me, not just as Liddy's mom, but as just a woman, trying to balance it all....being a mom, being a wife, daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister and aunt, being a friend and being a student. Quite frankly, some of the women I consider my best friends are women I have never met face to face, which is strange to say out loud, but those women love me and love my daughter every bit as much as I love them and their children. We cheer for each others' kids' accomplishments, we pray together, and we rally around when one of our own is in trouble or in pain. No way would I truly wish to trade in my membership to this little club that none of us knew we wanted to join until we did.
And as for the reason I belong to this club....I couldn't be any more grateful for her. She is truly perfect in every way, even with her premature terrible two tantrums and her hair pulling, face scratching, food throwing naughtiness. She's sassy, she's spunky, she's incredibly smart. The baby who used to shy away from any one who wasn't her mommy or daddy greets everyone she meets with a bubbly "hi" and reaches out to touch them if they get close enough. Our days are filled with ornery giggles and endless rounds of "What's this?" Her vocabulary grows every day and while not so long ago we were serenaded by constant streams of baby babble, now we hear strings of real words....a steady conversation of sorts.

There's no way around it. My tiny girl is growing up. 

And even looking back on the rough times over the last two years, all of those days that I thought I couldn't take one more step, all of the tears I have cried, all of the hours I have spent sitting in waiting rooms or perched beside a tiny body in a huge hospital crib amidst the endless chirping of heart monitors, I wouldn't change a second. All of it, Down syndrome included, has made my daughter who she is and I think she's pretty awesome. When it comes down to it, it's made me who I am too. It's made me more patient, more compassionate, more open minded, more determined. It's made me slow down and evaluate what is truly important in life and what is just, well, stuff. It's made me the kind of mama who cries when her children accomplish things, not because I am sad that they are growing up, but because I am completely, totally overwhelmed with pride in them and every bit as much in awe that they are mine.

Is this the journey I had planned? Not even close. But I gotta tell you that its waaayyy better than what I had in mind. And besides that, when you become a parent, regardless of the circumstances, you learn quite quickly that there are some things you just can't plan for.

Every child is different, unique, an individual, no matter what their chromosome count is. Therefore, the journey is constantly changing. The destination is constantly changing. And the path you take to get there is always changing too. But kids are only little for a short time. So sit back and enjoy the ride while it lasts...........


  1. I love it when you write, your words are always so beautiful to read Heidi :)

    1. Thanks, Jenny! You have put out some pretty awesome work too! :) I never have time to write anymore and it just makes me sad....

  2. I really loved reading this Heidi! You just have a way with words. You say what every parent is thinking and putting into words for us! I love and miss you guys bunches! Thank you for always sharing Liddy and your thoughts with us!

    1. We love you both too!!!! :) Time to start planning another get together. Maybe we can get Kendra to come to Dayton too and all of us hang together!!!


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