Tuesday, October 31, 2017

10 Thoughts About Down Syndrome

Over the last few days, I have realized something rather shocking.

Not once over the past month have I uttered the words, "Down syndrome awareness month". At least not that I remember?

I used to post at least once a day, saying this phrase over and over again. But this year...not at all. Why?

It's not that I've stopped believing in the awareness month. Not at all. It's just that every single thing (almost) that I post throughout the year is for Down syndrome awareness, so I guess I just didn't think to add the tag.

But here on the last day of Down syndrome awareness month, I want to share some thoughts on Down syndrome:

1. Down syndrome is the diagnosis that blew my life apart...and then put it back together piece by piece...making it so much better than the original.
2. Down syndrome ushered me into new motherhood. It gave me my perfect daughter, Addison.

3. Down syndrome taught me how to love. How to live.
4. Down syndrome showed me my selfishness in a new way. It cracked open my heart, poured out all my preconceived notions about motherhood, and filled it with new perspective.

5. Down syndrome made me question the words, "Normal" and "Different" and understand that perhaps the two are really the same thing.
6. The thing that has surprised me the most about Down syndrome (I am ashamed to say this) is how seriously smart and bright Addison is. Don't underestimate this girl!!! She amazes me daily with her antics and understandings and brilliant chocolate crafting strategies.
7. Down syndrome has demonstrated perseverance to me in a way I previously couldn't even comprehend. From fighting to become healthy to fighting to walk to fighting to read...Addison doesn't stop trying and she puts me to shame in the working hard department. I have learned so much from her.
8. What do I dislike the most about Down syndrome? The way people hear those words and assume a million things (just like I used to before Addison...see #6). I've learned that you really can't assume anything. Raise expectations and prepare to be surprised by awesome achievement and a fun, individual personality.
9. Has Down syndrome changed the way I parent my other three? I would say definitely yes. It's funny that I tend to be more accepting of Addison's uniqueness than theirs sometimes. I catch myself doing this and shift my perspective as needed.
10. This Down syndrome parenting journey is scary, amazing, unique, joy-filled, sometimes frustrating, sometimes awe-inspiring, mostly awesome. But most importantly, the DS parenting journey is about taking a backseat and letting Addison take control over what Down syndrome means.  It's not about my perceptions of Down syndrome. It's about me supporting her.
I am so proud of my girl. The thought of her smile makes my heart burst. The thought of her announcing this morning, "I Katerina...NOT ADDISON." as she made plans for dressing up tonight...makes me laugh. It is a delight to be her mother. It is a joy and a privilege to have someone with Down syndrome in my life.
I am grateful to be traveling this path. I am grateful for the intricate design by a heavenly father who perfectly created Down syndrome. I am grateful for...perfectly Addison. I wouldn't change her for the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading about my Everything and Nothing. I would love to hear from you!