I've been doing a lot of reading while we have been housebound. Mostly blogs and message boards. Some make me sad, like the Today show this week when a couple has the new genetic testing with their first child. They shared their "good" news that they were "safe" because their child did not Down syndrome. Jennifer Dawn shares her thoughts on this here. No, I don't live in a fantasy land. I know most people do not "want" their child to have Down syndrome. But it doesn't make the twinge I felt hearing those words any less. The sadness that I feel that most people do not want a child like Hailey. I didn't choose for Hailey to have DS. I get frustrated with it at times. It's not fun teaching a child for 12 months to walk, when we never had to teach our other two. They just did it. It's not fun to work day and day to try to get my daughter to speak more. It is hard for her and it hard for us, but no where does it say that life is supposed to be easy. Hailey doesn't know that her brother was speaking full sentences at 24 months or that both boys were full blown running at 12 months. Nor, does she care. Her value isn't determined by what milestones she has or has not achieved. Frankly, Hailey doesn't know any other life. She is living the life she was given (with a giant, dimpled smile). She is a little girl learning every day at her pace (just like her brother's did). We've accepted that Hailey will learn at a different rate that her brothers did. No, she isn't at a "typical" 2 year old level in most areas, but who said "typical" is that great?
Some of what I've read is beautiful and thought-provoking. They brought tears to my eyes in a good way. Like this video on ESPN, about the love of two brothers. It is definitely worth the time to watch it. I've also read two perspectives on prenatal testing that Amy Julia Becker (author of A Good and Perfect Gift) shared from two mom's that have beautiful little girls with Down syndrome. Patti talks about her experience with Lily here. Meriah shares her story here. Tricia shared her thoughts on her blog about being different and why is it a bad thing.
It's a great deal of thought and emotion to deal with on little sleep. It all makes me look at my bubbly, happy funny, mischievous, loving, smart, inquisitive, rotten little hurricane (and her two brothers) and be thankful for them. Not everyone would see her as the miraculous gift that she is, but that's okay....we only like to share her a little bit :-)
Here are a few (okay lots) of pictures of what we have been up to over the past couple of weeks.
|Her new favorite "reading" spot.|
|Basketball is still going strong for both boys.|
|Kisses from Mamaw|
|and snacks from Papaw|
|Crashing on Dad|
|Apparently walking was the only thing holding Hailey back from dancing!|
|I guess it is better to "sit" on Dad|
|I think Ian watched an episode of Ellen (dancing behind someone)|
|Anyone guess how left this mess?|
|I think they were watching My Little Pony for Hailey|
|The boys love building tents|
|Hailey likes it, too...even if they are ignoring her!|
|Stacking with blocks|
|One day I will tire of watching her walk....just not yet!|
|I guess basketball is tiring.|
|She LOVES her brothers!|
|This tugged at my heart last night!!!|