This year, I am thankful for Down syndrome. Never in any lifetime did I think I’d be saying that. I mentioned in last year’s Thanksgiving blogpost that my mom always had us say at least one thing we were grateful for that year. This year, mine is Down syndrome. I’m thankful for it because it makes my daughter who she is, and she is beautiful.
I still have a lot of fears, and it’s still a lot of the fear of the unknown. I was just telling my friend Amy I’m afraid of her speech skills, or potential lack thereof. And I’m afraid of potty training. But then I realized I think every parent fears potty training with every kid, so there’s that. The thing is, these things are yet to come, and that could hinder me from appreciating the today. Like today Regan started waving for the first time. Sometimes she waves at herself, but the thrill on my face (and hers) never fades. She’s also started sitting for extended periods of time, she can get up onto her knees into all fours (and plop herself forward, so she doesn’t quite “crawl” yet).
The fact that Regan has Down syndrome has allowed me to become acutely aware of developmental milestones. I’m not going to lie to you, it stings sometimes that she’s not quite where she should be, and we’ll have a lifetime of this pattern of catch-up. I try to remind myself that she’s on her own path, just like the rest of us, and she’ll tell us what her strengths and weaknesses are.
She still HATES transitioning in and out of sitting. For a child who is so easy going, she absolutely fights me when I’m working with her to show her how to physically move in and out of the sitting position. The funniest part about these moments in therapy is their use of the mirror. Regan will get pretty upset, which is so unusual for her, and then they will position her in front of the mirror and she immediately breaks into an ear-to-ear smile. One of my many prayers is that she will always adore herself as much as she does at this age.
Speaking of prayers, I’m sending up all my prayers this week in shouts of thanksgiving that we have been blessed with ONE YEAR of Regan. Regan turns the big ONE on Tuesday, December 5. I have no words to describe the flood of emotions that run through my mind when reflect on the past year. Fear. Worry. Anxiety. Relief. Bliss. Joy. Joy. Joy. Joy. Grateful beyond words. Thank y’all for coming on this journey with us, and thank you for your continued interest, curiosity, support, love, prayers, thoughts, and more care than I could ever wish for. Happy Birthday to our sweet Regan. More pictures to come!