|her name is Abby, she likes to party.|
Abby turns two today. For the boys’ birthdays, the feeling was always of celebration of the day they were born. For the two birthdays we’ve had so far with Abby, the feeling is different.
Less about the day she was born, though that is remembered, but more about making it through another year. There were times I feared that Abby wouldn’t make it to two. That fear has been much more present this year than it was in the year prior. It’s the worst of all fears.
I’m a different person today than I was even a year ago. I’m tougher, I think. I’ve been taken to the very edge of what I thought I could handle. I’m more tired, of that I am sure. But I’m also more grateful. More willing to speak up about things that I feel strongly about. Less offended when people say things that are contrary to how I feel or even just downright mean. My post about abortion and Down syndrome continues to get hits, and I continue to get letters and comments. Most are kind, some are not. The unkind words do nothing to sway me.
It doesn’t matter how hard this year has been or how many unkind things I have heard. No amount of sadness, pain, exhaustion or fear will ever be enough to make me say that Abby’s life is not worth keeping. I’m not here to judge the choices that people make, nor am I here to debate abortion. What I am here to say, as a very tired mother of a child with Down syndrome on her birthday is that I am grateful every single day that I have been given Abby. That if given the choice to do it all over again, I would choose to have her in a heartbeat.
I’m here to say that all of the hard things pale in comparison to all of the good things. That the joy she brings in her smile, her laugh, and the face she makes when she says “dup” and wants me to pick her up fully trumps all of hard things.
|Abby and Peyton|
Abby’s starting to talk. She’s starting to stand on her own and it won’t be too long until she walks. This sounds much more like a child who’s just turning one, and that’s a little bit tough take sometimes. But every milestone she reaches is fought for, and really, it makes them so much more exciting.
I’ve heard it said time and time again, “Special children for special parents.” Not me. There are some kids who are sent to parents because they are awesome to begin with. My friend Des is one of those. I am not. My kids were sent to me because I need a constant reminder to be grateful. To be happy. To be tough. It sucks that they have to take the fall for a parent who needs these reminders, but they seem to be pretty happy, so I guess it’s copacetic.
This last year has been the toughest year of my life. I really hope that it will have been the toughest for Abby, too, so that it all can be uphill from here for her. But it’s also been the best. I have felt so loved and so supported. I’ve made friends with fabulous communities of people who love children with Down syndrome, autism and other special needs. I have been given this outlet for my thoughts, and I’m humbled by support that you have given me. I’d say now that about 90% of the people who read my blog I have never met in real life. That’s amazing to me. No one is forcing you to be here, and yet you are. Thank you for that. Your comments and emails mean more to me than you will ever, ever know. I’m so grateful for your support and for your acceptance of me, even if you disagree with some of the things I have said.
This year we’re not throwing a big bash for Abby like we did last year. We just got her healthy, and I’m hoping to keep her that way as long as possible. I’m going upstairs now to hold her while she sleeps, and maybe get some sleep of my own.
Nothing but love,