Wednesday, October 12, 2011

31 for 21

I am a bit off track for posting each day about Down Syndrome. 
But I have a really good reason. (or two)
Reason one:
Writing these posts, I am realizing, knocks the stuffing out of me emotionally. BUT, it brings a lot of clarity to some of the thoughts I have and things I struggle with.
Reason two:
We have been blessed to care for our friend's two girls while mom and dad are away for three days. Let me tell you WHY this is such a blessing, and I hope I can tie all my thoughts together.

When my eldest left for college, our life changed drastically in our house. As in, it became very, very quiet. My husband and I knew our home would change, but this was ridiculous.
How do I say it? 
 Lauren brought a different pace to our house. Sports, friends, activities, church, groups, school, projects, you name it. Brenna, of course had her activities as well during these years, they were just on a somewhat slower pace. I guess I'm talking about how Lauren's activities carried a life of it's own. I discussed this with a friend the other day, who also has a daughter with Down Syndrome. Our "typical" children make plans, pursue driving, go to college, and are on the go basically 24 hours a day. There comes a time when we, as parents aren't involved in those plans so much and their life is set in a self-sufficient trajectory. 
I'm in no way saying our children with Down Syndrome cannot and do not realize these same goals. Many are in college, driving, living on their own, etc. What I am saying is that for OUR family, at THIS stage of the game, plans for Brenna aren't realized unless Mom and Dad take action. 
Which we do-
Brenna is involved in a multitude of activities, but they all include mom and dad, and guess who is tired of having mom and dad around all the time?
As in:
I took her to a pumpkin carving party last weekend and as we were getting into the car, she literally had a horrified look on her face and said, "you're not coming WITH me, are you mom?" Then she was very happy that I told her I would just be her driver and would drop her off and leave. 

So, all that to say, it's really quiet around here.
Except for this week.
Enter in two sweet girls. 

I love it. There is motion and playing and talking and giggling and cuteness and love.
Brenna has stepped up to the plate and made breakfast, set the table, helped with bath time, done homework, played, taken walks, and talked non-stop. It's pretty amazing to see how she responds to other's energy. Others as in not me. Do our children grow bored of us as parents? Probably. Do they all sense a need to make a move away from us as parents. Definitely.
  Now, I'm not stupid. 
I know if these 3 were actual siblings, there would be tears and rivalry and boredom and real life. But it's been pretty cool to feel the energy in the house and see the interactions.
We have given much thought to having other children. My pregnancy with Brenna was especially difficult and had lots of problems that put both of us at risk. The thought of doing that again was not especially what we wanted to do. Add to that the fact that by the time we could even consider becoming pregnant again, (after Brenna's numerous health problems) I was 40. Add to that the statistics of having a second child with Down Syndrome  and we chose to believe our family was complete. 

We just like to add to it whenever we can...

Now I have to get busy and get a canvas ready to ship off to Somerset magazine and see if it will be accepted for publication...



  1. wow, this is quite a post. very thought provoking. thank goodness for our created families as well as our biological ones. As my partner always says, children (and adults) can never have too much love. And so we welcome those who are not made of our genes and love them just as much, and they make us even more whole. And we grow and grow together over the years...

  2. I understand what you're saying completely. It's as if the balance is off when Lauren isn't around, and those two girl moved the balance bar back in the "typical" direction. What a blessing for you to have been able to borrow them.

    I hope your canvas is accepted!

  3. I can totally understand.. I only had one child. And it was hard when she moved out.. And hard because she didn't make the choices I wanted her to make.. But at home it was quite and empty.. That is when I wished I would have had more children.. But now I am a grandma.. And it has all changed again.. I am loving it!!!

    Good luck my friend on getting published.. I will keep my fingers crossed for you!

    Hugs, Linda

  4. The dynamics do change as children grow up...bittersweet! Good luck on the submission!

  5. I repeat:

    You are the bravest person I know.