I had to end my pity party Monday because there wasn't room for it. I needed to let it go because of Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for that I needed to empty the disappointment that my daughter isn't walking. It seems silly...petty. It isn't as if her value or worth is tied up in whether or not she is walking before 2.
So...onto more important things. Since having Hailey, Thanksgiving seems different. Not that I haven't always had so many things to be thankful for. Last year changed me. Worrying about Hailey when she was in the NICU because she couldn't breathe on her own. Part of me believed for a few days that I would never get the chance to get to know this daughter I had expected. I was afraid her brothers wouldn't get a little sister to torture and protect. Watching Hailey struggle to stay alive through her heart failure and terrified during her open heart surgery, I was scared that we would lose this incredible little girl that filled such a large space in our family.
Having Hailey is like adjusting the settings on your TV...things are brighter...clearer...more vibrant. She has made me more thankful for everything I've always had and the new things we now have.
This is my list this year (some more serious than others)....
1. My husband - We have known one another over half of our lives. He loves me unconditionally...through my panics, my quirks, my OCD, my worrying and my non-stop chattiness.
2. Our families - They have supported us throughout the years even when
they didn't agree with what we were doing or where we moved to. They
love our children as if they were their own.
3. Our friends both near and far, old and new - They make me laugh, they listen to (or read) my fears and complaints.
4. My local Ds community - Down syndrome was scary last year. It was overwhelming. They have shown me (or their children have) how great
life is and how "normal" is all really is.
5. My cyber Ds community - It is so nice to find a group of women that
know exactly how I feel when I am frustrated or sad over something other
people might find silly or non-important. They celebrate Hailey's
accomplishments with me (no matter how big or small). Their support and
advice has meant the world to me.
6. The basics that so many of us take for granted....shelter, food, clothing.
7. Brayden - my positive, give 100% all of the time child. If everyone made friends and viewed the world the way he does, there would never be another war.
8. Ian - my active, funny, 5 going on 50 child. You can be the sweetest and yet the most exasperating child I've ever met.
9. Hailey - my determined, smart feisty little girl. You have taught me more in 20 months than I've learned in 20 years.
10. My husband's job. It moved us closer to our families and it provides for our family.
11. Our neighborhood. We have such diversity here, but in the eye's of the children, everyone is just themselves.
12. My DVR...it allows me to watch my favorite shows at midnight while everyone is asleep and I'm working on laundry.
13. FaceTime...It allows my children to see their family and tell them about their day. It was also the incentive that pushed Hailey to scoot and crawl (granted she always looks for a face when speaking to anyone on the phone!)
I have 5 million more thanks, but it is now 1 a.m. and I have lots of cooking to do tomorrow and the kids will be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in about 6 hours (or less!).