The Purpose of this Blog

The goal of this blog is to provide education and bring about higher awareness about Down syndrome. It is to share that life with Down syndrome (DS) is not scary, horrible, or to be feared.

My experience comes from raising my daughter, Nebraska Larae (Braska), born November 2006 with Down syndrome.
The posts on this blog are related in some way to life with DS or disability, and they are reposted here from my other family blogs. There are links to those blogs in the margin on the right side of this blog if you would like to visit them directly.

Thank you for coming by.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I’ve come a long way, baby

I posted this on the iVillage DS board yesterday, and though it uses pictures I’ve posted recently here and on Braska’s blog, I thought I’d repost it here. Because sometimes I forget just how blessed I am…

Lately, my attitude-filled toddler is not wanting to cooperate with the dozens of pictures that I take every day.  So I get a lot of unusable pictures.  BUT her dad captured one on Sunday that made me stop and really realize how far we've come...

Just over 44 months ago, Braska was born, we were shocked, I went into meltdown, and all rational thought left my brain, apparently.  Even though I'd had experience with a variety of teens and adults with disabilities, including DS, I had a picture in my head of what my little girl would be like, and it wasn't pretty. It was grim, and boring, and unfun, and sad.

But wow...if I'd only been able to get a glimpse of THIS on that cold day in November...

I thought all my dreams of cute bows and girly clothes were lost. She wouldn't be pretty, she would just "look funny," I figured.  I figured she would be a sweet baby, but I never expected such a FUN little girl! 

I can't believe I thought she'd never giggle and play!  I can't believe I thought she would be a little bump in the corner who wouldn't interact with people.  If only I could have seen her with her little sister as they wrestle on the floor!

I thought we would never be able to chat about silly things, that she wouldn’t be able to talk clearly, that people would want to shy away from her. 

But this morning she has run around the house with her sister, giggling and saying, “So funny! KiKi silly!” over and over. She came up to me while I was typing this to say, “Hi Mommy!” as clear as anyone could say it, and then followed the hug I gave her with “I love you” as she turned to go back to play.  She’s a magnet in stores and public places and people just seem drawn to come over and chat with her.  She is always happy to oblige.

I feared she wouldn’t learn. But we just finished doing her morning practice for her letters, numbers, shapes, and colors.   She got every single letter in the alphabet right in the random flashcards. Twice through.  And she’s 3. And she has Down syndrome. But who cares?!?  She matched her colors and shapes like she was asked to do. She can name her shapes, and she is getting better with her colors.

She has amazed us over and over, but really all the change and growth has been in ME, for sure.  We went from fear over the diagnosis to actually hoping that our second one would have DS when we found out I was pregnant.  Crazy, I know!  (We kept KiKi even though she was all typical and everything. :o)  Ha!)

Not every moment is a party, but they are all so much better than I allowed myself to imagine!

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