I am trying to write this entry & having major difficulties. I have rewritten it several times & feel like I am all over the place. I don't know where to begin. I have so much to say about Emily's therapy, Aidan with Emmie, Emmie swimming, my encounters with people with DS, people's reactions to Emily's diagnosis, etc. These are all great topics for blog entries. I am learning that I need to blog more, but haven't been able to find the time.
This afternoon I went to workout at the gym....I so needed it...mentally & phsycially!! :) The gym has become my "haven". It's a place where I can go to get away from life for a while & get
"in the zone." My ipod takes me away from everything for just a little while & the focus is 100% me...that doesn't happen much these days. After my 30 minutes of cardio, I started to do some weights. In between sets, I usually walk around the gym & I usually take a look into the swimming pool down below. I watch the people swim, reflect on things in my life & think of Aidan & how much he loves swimming there.
Today as I was looking into the pool & I noticed a little boy swimming by himself. He was kicking, doing flips, jumping up & down, having a great time. The boy clearly had Down syndrome. (By the way, I have learned that the "S" in "syndrome" is lower case, not upper case.) I have been telling several of you my stories about me seeing more & more children with Down syndrome since Emily's diagnosis. Everywhere I look, I see a child with Down syndrome...The little boy in the restaurant with his parents, the little girl at the playground with her mom, the little girl on the cover of the book at the bookstore, the girl at my friend's baby shower, the teenage boy working at Panera, and now the boy swimming in the pool. I can't seem to escape it. Maybe I am just noticing it more? Not sure.
Prior to the boy swimming the pool, everytime I saw a child with Down syndrome, I physically felt sick to my stomach! I felt like I couldn't breathe, like my chest was being crushed. I feel awful saying that, but it's true. Seeing those people put the harsh reality in my face. Down syndrome is my reality. This is what my precious daughter will be like. It's tough to swallow that. Let's face it...no one wants their child to look different than all the other kids. We all want beautiful, perfect children. This has been hard for me to get over. It sounds so superficial & I feel like a terrible mother for saying that, but I have to be honest. My new friends at AIM HIGH told me to feel whatever I need to feel & not to feel guilty about it. I am working on it. I know that Emily is beautiful & perfect in her own way. It's hard to accept that.
A friend & I were talking one day & she told me that every time I see a person/child with Down syndrome it is God's way of saying that it's ok. It's ok that Emily is different. It's evidence that there are tons of families out there with children with Down syndrome & they are happy & have completely normal lives. Little did I know that each person I saw with Down syndrome was bringing me closer to acceptance.
The joy on the boy's face was overwhelming. He was so happy & proud of himself. For the first time in quite a while, I was able to look at him & not feel sad or scared. Today I felt peace. All I could think about was my little girl...Emmie...she has my heart & soul. I don't care what she looks like or how different she is from anyone else. Her life may be filled with challenges, but I am going to be there supporting her every step of the way. I want her to have that same happiness as the boy in the swimming pool.
I feel like I could say so much more, but I am tired & hungry for my night time snack. :) I also hear Eric upstairs talking to Emily. He is telling her "I love you". He is laughing. She must be smiling. That's my girl...............