Sunday, November 16, 2008

I used to feel...

...dread at the prospect of having to brace myself for the inevitable moments when it would become clear that Nate was developing at a slower rate than other children. But today, when I picked him up from the church nursery and saw other children much younger than him who were crawling, pulling themselves up and taking their first tentative steps, I smiled and felt a genuine peace knowing that Nate is doing everything he can, as we are, to develop at his own pace...and I am so proud of him! Even more, I am thrilled for the other babies and their mothers who are my friends, and am grateful that there exists no uncomfortable awkwardness in those moments. I feel blessed that I can be so happy for Nate, and so happy for them too.
  • ...aversion to the facial features and body language of children with Down syndrome. My biggest fear in my adult life was having a baby with DS...I felt that I couldn't bear the grief and pain of it. How could I look at my child every day and feel such sadness every minute? "How do those mothers do it?" I wondered. But now, it is those very expressions that give me the most incredible source of mushy-gushy, bury-my-face-in-his-neck- joy. I can't keep my hands off him, I can't take my eyes off him, and I feel I am spoiling him rotten! with so much affection that comes from a well-spring that I didn't even know existed.
  • ...great sorrow for families that had a child with Down syndrome. But now, I feel sorry for families that have only "typical" children. Earlier tonight James and I were talking about the Duggars, and I made the remark that with all of those children, not one is differently-abled. James replied, "too bad for them."