Thursday, April 12, 2012

Learning and growing

Lilly writing her letters.

Lilly's haircut and first blow dry! My mom took her in Atlanta this week.

As we approach the birth day of our new little one (sometime in the next week), I can't help but look back at the past almost 6 years with my first little one, and express such extreme gratitude.

I remember the day she was born, and the doctors being concerned that she had Down syndrome. And me, the very first thing I noticed about her, being her beautiful pink lips and all the kisses we'd get from her, and all the potential and mystery locked within her.

She has not disappointed us, she's been amazing. All babies, all kids really, are amazing. But sometimes I feel like kids with "special needs" have to prove themselves a little more to the outside world. But not to their mamas.

What a smart, beautiful, sweet girl I have. But when she was born, I didn't know what she could do. I thought she'd have limits - but she's surprised me that she doesn't.

Last week, we went out for pancakes, just she and I. And at the pancake house, she started drawing stick figure pictures, as she usually does, of a family. And she drew the mommy and wrote "Momoy" underneath. I've never seen her write letters independently (aside from her own name), let alone spell things by memory. Then she drew the Lilly and Daddy and wrote "Lilly" and "Dady." Then she drew a circle in mommy's tummy and wrote "BHI" for Ben, her soon to be little brother. Blew me away - we've never talked about how to spell the baby's name, I had no idea she knew Ben started with a B but she knew it. And then of course she drew and spelled perfectly Elmo and then her friends Ethan, Wyatt, and Hiwot from school, and her cousin Julianne (spelled JuHIJK I think).

She's doing these things, and she's 5. She's in pre-K, getting ready for Kindergarten in the fall. And she's drawing and writing and spelling, and remembering and learning and being proud of herself.

I thought there would be delays, and there are some. But I didn't realize that there wouldn't be delays as well; that many things she can just pick up on and do. Or if we take the time to teach her a little extra, or in a different way, that she'd learn everything.

We had a parent teacher conference the other week and I was amazed by all that her teacher told us about what Lilly can do, what she knows. And the funny thing is, any time she'd tell us something that Lilly has a harder time with - like her attention span during story time - Jon would pipe up and say that he can't pay attention either. Or when she looks closely at her work when she writes - she actually has perfect vision but is imitating her mom because my vision is bad and I write that way. Sometimes she likes to pop into the principal or office staff's offices to say hi, and the teacher is trying to teach her you can't just go in unannounced - and Jon shared me with after how he does that with his colleagues at work.

Everything she can do we attribute to her just being an amazing hard-working kid - and all her hardships are actually brought on by her less-than-perfect parents.

We are so in love with our girl, and can't wait to meet our new little boy who will undoubtedly make us fall in love with him in just the same ways. I can't wait to see big sister and little brother as we become an even more perfect family. I feel blessed.

1 comment:

Becca said...

I'm so excited for Ben's arrival!! Can't believe it's so soon...

This was a really, really beautiful post, Cathleen. You said it all *perfectly.* Love that little girl of yours. :-)