(Written waaaay back in March when I was getting ready for World Down Syndrome Day on 3-21!)
Do I hate Ds?
Do I consider it a blessing?
Do I care that my children can’t run fast?
Do I care that they will learn slower than their peers?
Do I care that they share certain physical characteristics with other individuals, around the world, that we aren’t even related to?
Nope. (Not always, anyway.) However,
The problem is :
There are some health conditions that people with Ds can be more suseptible to (we are lucky – our littles are very healthy with the exception that D take a pill daily for her thyroid).
Their mental cognition is slower, so right now I have a 7 yr old who isn’t potty trained (we’re getting there, it’s just taking a loooong time and I’m impatient) and the 6 year old is doing great except at night. They don’t read yet. And the big problem - they run away from me in parking lots and stores and EVERYWHERE.
I am ready for them to be more like typical 7 & 6 year olds, in that I wouldn’t have to worry about them walking out the front door and away from the house. I would like to not have to hold their hands when walking out in public every second. They are getting bigger and stronger and more resistant to hand holding but seriously, they run and run fast if I let go for a second to open a door or get my keys out of my pocket. It’s hard to do things, go places, run errands with one of them and nearly impossible with both.
And I want them to read and write, be able to add and count money and tell the time. I’d like them to be able to live as independently as possible when they grow up and those skills are essential. Maybe they will; It’s impossible to know right now. Right now they don’t have these skills.
We are seeing progress; it’s just slow.
Would I change them? Trade them? Wish them away?
Heck no! No, no, no! I might wish away the cognition issues but overall, I couldn’t love them more. When we have a fit, or something takes a long time (like putting on socks) or they are picky about a shirt or a show, I have to remind myself that they are little kids! My older kids certainly had their own opinions too. So I feel lucky, because I have my older kids, who threw fits, and had opinions, and who didn’t (don’t) always make the best choice, and they are turning into awesome people. So I remind myself that we have plenty of time and lots of these issues are people issues, not only Down syndrome issues.