May 27, 2011

monkey toes

My buddy has this huge space between his big toe and all the rest.  It's one of those random physical traits of Down syndrome.  My buddy knows how to use his toes.  He uses that space as leverage and turns the big toe into an opposable thumb.  One of his favorite thing to do is to grab your fingers as you read him a book with that big toe.

My buddy uses his toes for stirring up a little extra trouble.  He can cling onto drawer pulls - climbing up dressers in a flash.  He can get a grip on the baby gate - luckily not climbing over quite yet.  You should see the toys he can manipulate with those toes.

I guess that's why my buddy hates shoes and socks so much.  It's hard to use primitive tools and swing from the vines when your monkey toes are covered up. 

I've been thinking lately about what joy my buddy brings to me and how much he has changed me.  I know I tend to complain a lot about the trouble he gets into and he does exhaust me on a daily basis, but he is so much more than that.  Monkey bear made me a Mommy and I will be eternally grateful for that.  My buddy made me a better person.

I have only stuck my (non-opposable) big toe into the lake of Down syndrome but already it has enriched me.  If I can reach one soon-to-be Mommy who gets the prenatal diagnosis and doesn't want anything to do with that kind of a baby...  I would tell her that it is more good than bad.  By a long shot.  When my buddy was born, a woman with a daughter with Ds told me that she celebrates and gets so excited when she hears that someone just had a child with Ds.  I, of course, thought she was a little wacko.  But now I see what she means.

My buddy has brightened my world.  I can't wait to see all that he has to give me.

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