Sometimes, I forget.
As we walk hand in hand, jumping over each crack in the sidewalk, while she tugs on my arm… “Sing Mommy! Sing!”
It’s just us today. A rare Mommy-Daughter outing, with no
siblings to compete with distractions.
This is sunshine and happy and me with my Good-Parent hat on.
This is the ordinary kind of awesome.
This is normal.
We walk up to the counter at Burger King
(Great Parent would have talked her into Subway, but Good Parent heard she wanted “Fies” and aimed to deliver)
Anyway, we put in our less-than-optimally-nutritious, but yummy order AND I notice the looks.
For a minute, I’m thrown. I look around and wonder what’s going on.
Sometimes, I forget.
People are staring at us with big grins and smile-y eyes. The kind of looks reserved for fluffy bunnies and newborn kittens. Awwwww… One lady nudges the guy next to her and nods in our direction.
And it clicks. Of course. Now I remember.
All my children are winsome – uniquely beautiful in their own way. But none of the others get this kind of attention.
It’s not a bad thing. Although it does reinforce my little diva’s belief that she is the Centre of the Universe (thank heaven for a little brother on that count).
It’s not a bad thing, but it does remind me, that OUR normal, isn’t exactly… well… normal-normal.
OUR normal involves extra appointments in far away places with all sorts of “oligists” (and an excuse for Mommy-Daughter time, with, perhaps, a detour to Burger King).
OUR normal looks tiny and slightly wobbly, but is fiercely determined to open the heavy doors “by mine-self” (while we wait, and wait… and wait).
OUR normal smells just a little bit off (which is why I carry pull-ups for 40 lbs+ in my purse at all times).
OUR normal sounds like my almost 9-year-old singing “Skinn-a-ma-rink-y Dink-y Dink” at the top of her lungs, while sticking her hand down her pants (and an admiring public who think she’s adorable for it).
OUR normal includes a lot of extras – extra work and extra people and extra effort… and extra attention wherever we go.
it’s not a bad thing.
Sometimes I forget.
I forget about Down Syndrome. I forget about the hassles and the heartbreaks and the headaches that inevitably come. And we just live our ordinary awesome, everyday plodding, bittersweet regular life.
Because, for us, this IS normal.
So here’s me,
and today I read a post by Sipping Lemonade (Dear Mom with a Prenatal Down Syndrome Diagnosis)
and I remembered the days, around age 1, when I didn’t think we’d find normal again.
And yet, here it is all day everyday. Not exactly normal-normal, but close enough.
June 20th, 2013 at 1:29 pm
That was a lovely post! 🙂
June 21st, 2013 at 12:40 pm
June 20th, 2013 at 3:23 pm
I forget all the time! Great post.
June 21st, 2013 at 12:43 pm
Love your blog – especially the tag line because I’m “Down with the syndrome” too!
June 21st, 2013 at 12:25 pm
Came here from sipping lemonade as well… lovely post…
I’m one of those ‘ologists’ (well, I’m working in a developmental paediatrics unit) I unfortunately have a job which involves giving a lot of bad news to hopeful parents; takes a huge toll on everyone, so I see some of that heartbreak quite often. It’s nice to know that its temporary….
June 21st, 2013 at 1:02 pm
I love the “oligosts” who so clearly care and aren’t just punching a clock. Bless you! It must be a very hard part of the job. Personally, I can’t imagine finding out ahead of time. With our new baby in our arms it was a shock and a heartache, but not nearly so much, nor so scary. I wish I could bring her to meet each couple who gets a diagnosis. Just so they can see how sweet and wonderful she is. It doesn’t make the rest go away, but it sure fades to the background.
I’m sure that some of your heartbreaking moments have a wonderful and happy story in the long run. Tell them they can email me! 😉
June 22nd, 2013 at 1:39 am
I’m working in India, so email isn’t really an option for many of my patients :)… As you can imagine everything is complicated by the resources of the families we work with here… But like I said, its nice to see a family more than just coping but actually celebrating in their child. I especially loved the fact that you didn’t hide the fact that the going gets tough at times and life can be a little bit more complicated with such children…its a different journey but a rewarding one all the same.
June 24th, 2013 at 10:00 pm
The lack of support/resources would definitely add another layer of complexity to an already overwhelming situation. I’m sure your empathy and hope are a gift to these families. Thank you!
June 27th, 2013 at 8:03 am
I love this post – I’m bookmarking it and hope to link back to it in the future.
I also LOVE the family picture…..very creative and cool!
Little Birds Dad
June 28th, 2013 at 4:49 pm
I’m so glad you liked it. Thank you for the lovely compliment!
I found the cool pic on wylio.com – great for bloggers who are terrible at taking our own cool pictures. Props to Carissa Rogers!
December 30th, 2013 at 6:00 am
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