March 15, 2012


I was watching a show about giving your Kindergartener a heads up so they could go further in life and be more of a leader.  I have no way of knowing what kind of a parent I would be if Down syndrome never entered my life, but I have learned many life lessons from my buddy.  One important lesson is to celebrate what your child can do - without trying to compare them to others.  I think I put way less pressure on my kids to be THE best and work on being THEIR best than I would have otherwise. 

I also learned that parents of children with Down syndrome have a lower divorce rate.  My personal theory is it's hard to forget about loving each other when you see such displays of love from your child.  My buddy will go up to random children in Target, give them a hug and kiss and then just walk off. 

Having a child with special needs is so full of yin and yang.  Some days I struggle just wanting life to be easy for my buddy.  Wishing the little things didn't have to be so hard.  Dreaming of the day when he can tell me what is wrong instead of throwing himself down on the ground.  Wondering how old he will be when he is finally potty trained.  Then there are the days when he is so funny - even without words.  Or the way he looks at me with devotion and never ending love.  Oh, and the snuggling that little boy can do.  Those days I wouldn't change a thing.

Then I think about monkey bear.  I wish she wasn't so shy and would speak to her peers.  I wish she wouldn't cling to me and would just run off and play.  Is that really any different?  I know that peer interaction is a challenge to her and her shyness will be an obstacle she will need to overcome throughout her whole life.  I don't really want to change monkey bear.  But as a parent, it can be so hard to watch your children struggle.

I guess every child can teach their parents many lessons.  I think because my buddy's lessons come at a slower rate and are hammered in on a daily basis, it is easier to hear them.

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