I have never done this before - and it scares me to think about the commitment - but for the first time I'm going to participate in 31 for 21. 31 blog posts this month - October is Down syndrome awareness month - in honor of the 3 copies of the 21st chromosome that my sweet daughter has.
The common theme to the blog - and our lives - is that Lilly is the best thing that has ever happened to us - of course, now tied with her little brother Ben. But there is nothing - not a single thing - about her, her chromosomes, her being, her life, that is anything less than amazing, and I am so grateful each day that God gave her to us exactly as she is.
I also believe, so strongly, that the world needs to take notice of her, of our kids with an extra chromosome, and discover that they are just as important, just as funny, as sweet, as silly, as beautiful, as amazing, as any other kids. Possibly moreso, because of the challenges they face and overcome, the strength they have. I am so proud of my girl every day for giving life 100% effort, for keeping up with her class, for being good and kind and sweet and smart. Down syndrome, in our lives, is not at all negative, and - in my opinion - not anything at all worth obliterating from existence, or weeding out (although that, is a topic for another post). While it does have it's challenges at times - like, learning how to read is harder for L, although amazingly she is learning well and so proud of herself - there are also so many parts of my day where I am wishing I had some of her characteristics - like her patience, her imagination, her beauty, her wit, and mostly her ability to see the best all around her. And even moreso, her ability to bring the best out of those around her.
So today, on this first day of October in 2012, I am just so very grateful for the gift of my daughter. (And my son too, of course; poor Ben and his typical chromosomes.) God has given us two amazing - and equal - gifts in our two children. And, if you don't have a child with Down syndrome, remember that. Lilly is nothing less than the best thing that has happened to us, just as her brother is.
Today I am grateful for going into Lilly's room this morning as she was starting to wake up, and giving her a kiss on the cheek. She promptly told me to "move, mommy!!" as apparently I had touched her Barbie doll (Tiana, to be exact) who was sleeping next to her in bed. She got out of bed, turned on the light, and started playing with her Barbies, and it took all the tricks in the book to get her to finally get dressed for school. I remember being exactly her age - 6 years old - waking up each morning and seeing my Barbies and picking up right where I left off the night before. Coming up with ideas and scenarios, just as Lilly does. Putting them in their cars, sitting them in their dream house, having them interact and letting my imagination blossom - just as my daughter is each day. Love watching her become my mini me- does that make me egotistical? Or just nostalgic for the magic and wonder of being a little girl again...