Parenthood. Life. Down syndrome. Faith.

My life changed a lot when I found out my 3rd child would be born with Down syndrome. But then again, it really hasn't changed so much.

We're still living life, trusting God, raising our kids, and loving having a baby in the house.



Sunday, February 16, 2014

If you give a mom some cereal...

I wrote this a few years ago, but was reminded of it today.  I found it and decided to repost it here.  

If you give a mother some cereal, she's going to want to refill the cereal jar. 
When she refills the jar, the box will be empty.
She'll want to recycle it.
When she takes the box outside to the recycling bin, she'll realize the sprinkler in the backyard needs to be moved. 
When she goes to move the sprinkler, she'll realize the backyard has been watered enough and she'll want to water the front yard instead.
When she takes the sprinkler out front, she'll realize all the flowers need watered.
When she waters the flowers, she'll want to pull weeds. 
When she's done pulling weeds, she'll want to wash her hands.
When she washes her hands, she'll realize her cereal bowl is still sitting empty on the counter.  
She'll want to fill it and add milk. 
She'll empty the milk carton and then she'll want to recycle it.

See where this is going? I still haven't eaten breakfast!




Sunday, February 9, 2014

Fear

So here it is...my first post in almost 3 months.  You should probably just quit now.  I'll even give you your Cade picture early so you don't miss out:



Why has it been 3 months?  I've certainly been busy, but that's not the reason.  It's not writer's block, I always have a lot to say.  It's this...I have too many emotions and none of them good.  Well, some of them are.  But most of them don't feel very good.  Who wants to write about that?  Or read about it?  (But see, I told you to quit, so don't blame me.)

On December 3, it was our one-year anniversary for finding out that Cade would definitely have Down syndrome.  Pretty crappy anniversary and while I'd rather forget about, I just couldn't.   I honored the day with quiet solemnity.  Or morose melancholy, depending on whether you're asking me or my husband.  (Who, by the way, was totally fine and didn't understand why I was focusing on such old news.)

Anyway, I had a LOT of emotions well up that I didn't expect.  All the yucky feelings of the year before came flooding back, overwhelming my desire to write anything good.  Since I couldn't figure out how to write anything positive, I didn't write at all.  Really, my feelings were too big for a blog post.

I love my Cade a million different ways, but if I could take away Down syndrome, I would.  I accept that he has it, I accept that life will be harder for him, I accept that life will be harder for me.  But if I could remove it, I would in a heartbeat.  Down syndrome does not, WILL NOT, define him.  I hope.

And I guess that's my big fear...what if it DOES define him?  It surely will in the eyes of others.  I see my sweet baby, and I see how others coo and giggle with him.  Everyone loves Cade!  But he's little and he's cute and he's easy to love.  What about when he's 4, or 8, or 18?  What about when he's not so little and not quite so cute...will he still be easy to love (by others, I mean.  I, of course, will always love him.)

I've been following the Robert Ethan Saylor story since it happened.  If you're not familiar, you can read the whole story here.  Ethan's story is the epitome of my fears for Cade.  I recently saw a video montage of Ethan's life.  He was adorable as a baby, chubby-cheeked and wide-eyed.  Just like Cade.  But as he aged, he gained weight and lost the cute baby look.  By the time he died, at 26, he looked like the stereotypical person with Down syndrome: overweight, unkempt, and not all that attractive.  His mother and sister clearly loved him, but I imagine lots of people avoided him.  And it resulted in his early death.  I don't want that for Cade!!!!! 

My only ray of hope is this:  therapy is a lot different now than it was 26 years ago.  Nowadays, kids with Down syndrome go to regular schools, sit in regular classes and learn alongside their typical peers.  Kids with Down syndrome go to ballet, soccer, karate, and art classes.  Our kids can learn to play the violin beautifully.  Our kids can take award-winning photos.  I even keep a list of people who have Down syndrome but also hold professional jobs.  Pretty awesome, right?  THAT'S what I want for Cade.

I look at my baby boy this morning, playing with maracas, and I smile.  He's amazing, and awesome, and he's going to shatter stereotypes.  And even if he doesn't, I'll love him just the same.  But my mama heart hopes for more.  

If you read this far, then I'll reward you with a bunch more photos of Cade-O.  Rock on, Dudes.