As part of the 31 for 21 challenge, many members of the Down syndrome community are writing about the same topic on Thursdays. I spaced out last week so I decided I would join back up this week.
No....it isn't the journey I planned. It isn't something I thought I could handle. But the truth is, Hailey has Down syndrome. She wouldn't be Hailey without it. Just like Ian wouldn't be himself without that mischievous smirk or that incredible deep voice. Brayden wouldn't be himself without his huge heart and beautiful smile. Down syndrome is simply something Hailey has and without it, she wouldn't be our baby.
So today, I am celebrating her Down syndrome....
1 - Those beautiful almond eyes that crinkle when she smiles and flashes those dimples.
2 - Due to her lower muscle tone, she has been cuddlier longer than the boys.
3 - Perspective - Having Hailey has given me a different perspective on life (with both her heart defect and Down syndrome). At first, I thought her having Down syndrome was the end of the world. My baby wasn't perfect. Wow...was I wrong. It means we have been welcomed into an entirely different community that I didn't realize existed before. I also look at people differently. You can't judge a book by it's cover so why do we judge people by the way they look?
4 - Patience - (I've gotten good with this with Hailey but need to work on it with my boys). Hailey will do things when she is ready. I can't force them. I can help her work towards a goal and show her the skills to get her there but she will do the rest when she is ready!
5 - Slow down to enjoy life - We celebrate the little things more. We celebrate more of the little things in our lives now. Tomorrow is not a guarantee in life....I don't want to miss out on today!
6 - Knowledge - I have learned more in the last 6 months than I have probably learned in the last 6 years. Through her heart defect, doctor appointments, and therapies, I have learned so much about a variety of medical issues and therapy/exercise technique. It is amazing how little I knew raising the boys!
7 - Acceptance - My brain quit functioning this evening...sorry! (I wrote most of this earlier in the day when my day was calmer and quieter :-) Everyone deserves to be accepted for who they are. I hope one day most of society will join all of us who see that there is so much more to a person with Down syndrome than what they "know" or have been "taught". We can all learn from one another!
I actually didn't take a single photo today...*gasp*...I think it is the first since Hailey was born!
I know I have posted these before but these are a couple of my faves...My beautiful little girl with Down syndrome...