30 December 2013

I wish I could be a child again...

I'm sorry I haven't written much lately.  I do have plans to get back online and update on our lives again soon!  As I write, both boys are napping in their cribs and I've just taken a break from a new book I'm reading, "The Year My Son And I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood and Self Discovery" by Kathryn Soper.  There was a line that struck me and I needed to write... so here I am.

 "I watched them go, wishing I could be a child again, instead of a mother."  

Soper was referencing how she felt as her 6 oldest children left the hospital after meeting their new baby brother, Thomas, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth the day prior.  This struck me because I recall feeling the exact same way, wishing someone could take the reigns and live my life for me and I could in turn be reduced to the innocent days of Kool-Aid and cartoons.  I wanted to run away from my life and my own reality.  I didn't want to deal with the hardships that everyone told me were in store for my future.  I felt that way for a long time too during the last half of my pregnancy, when we knew that Luke would be born with DS.  It's quite amazing the extremes that I've felt through this experience... the lows have been so very deep and dark and almost nonhuman and the highs have been completely the opposite... I've had an uncountable number of moments when I've felt like I was soaring high above the clouds, in on a secret that was greater than the greatest secret imaginable, like I'd found heaven on earth.  I don't know how else to explain it.  It confuses me actually, how I could have been so terrified of our impending life with Luke, especially now that I am certain of the love and joy he's brought to my life.  Why has our society created that?  The divide is too deep and too wide.  All life is precious... why did I question the gift that God had planned for my life?  I have so many questions in retrospect on why I felt so destitute at the time.  I feel guilty for the thoughts that I had back then.

Yesterday, Dustin's Grandpa Taylor told me that he was proud of Dustin and I because "we wanted this child".  He told me how proud he was of Matthew and Luke because they were both beautiful and strong in their own ways.  In all of his elderly, Grandfather-ly wisdom, he was right.  They are beautiful and strong and we have so much to be proud of.  It meant a lot to me that he said those words, in his generation, individuals with Down syndrome hardly existed... at least not in the throws of society.  They were thought so much less of that they were institutionalized.  They didn't have contact with their families... essentially, they were let go and forgotten.  I've never asked he or Dustin's grandma (or any of our grandparents for that matter) if they ever knew someone with DS so I'm not sure if any of them ever had personal experiences.  Regardless, knowing that this population wasn't readily accepted by their generation has always left me quietly wondering how they felt about Luke being a part of our family.  While I probably shouldn't have ever questioned this either... it's not hard for doubts to find their way in through the teeniest cracks and it just felt good to know that he is accepted fully for all that he is by those close to us. 

While I'm sure there will be days ahead for me that I will revert to wishing I was a child again, for now I feel so blessed for the role I play to two of the sweetest and most loving little boys in the entire world.  I couldn't imagine my life today if I weren't a mother!

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