Right now Rozie is building with Legos. Not the tiny ones not even the larger Duplos but the big Mega block size that are perfect for her little hands. This task and size are age appropriate for a two year old and i feel a smile spread on my face, a smile of acceptance. I accept you Rozie i feel like saying out loud. I accept you and your diagnosis. This is easy to do when she is performing at a level that i find appropriate.
Rozie has recently regressed in her walking. She was standing,then taking steps, then more steps, and it was all so exciting, until one day she sat down and went back to crawling and refuses to walk again.
I know this is a stage and next week she could be vertical again, but acceptance is a little harder when the task is so darn frustrating. She is two years old now and i have been carrying her for exactly two years, and often my back hurts, and my bones are still sore from the chemo. The walking milestone is eating up my acceptance.
I love my children. I love them with a deep strong fire that is often hard to put into words, but acceptance is another story. Just because we love our children does not mean we necessarily accept our sweet ones. It can be a hard mountain to climb because love is instinctual, but acceptance is learned.
Many of us think we accept, but its often the easy stuff we accept and we like to push the rest under the rug. This is our natural instinct, because like i said before 100% acceptance is learned not instinctual. Its easy to accept her when she is playing nicely, but when she refuses to walk on the outdoor playground and wants to crawl in the mulch my acceptance tolerance wears thin and i get a little mad at Down syndrome.
I know its silly because this scenario could be rewritten to fit many circumstances with and without a diagnosis. Its just easier to blame it on something, so i blame the extra chromosome. "Darn you chromosome just let her WALK"! Its really not so logical and like many times in my life i know i have to make a choice.
This morning i felt my frustration pot boiling over as Rozie crawled onto our deck. Inevitably when she crawls around on the deck she gets splinters from the flooring that needs a good sanding and a coat of paint. As i am pulling these splinters from her legs, and she is crying my frustration starts to grow and my acceptance starts to decrease.
This is not me and not the parent i want to be. I know if i was observing this situation from the outside i would have so many comments and changes for that parent. I need to breath and accept. Breath in and out, breath in and out , calm down and accept.
I thank Hashem everyday for my daughter, because of her i took off my dark shades i use to wear in life and look at our world with a new technicolor acceptance. I no longer see mental disorders, disabilities, and special needs. Only beautiful people and gorgeous Neshamas. I never had that vision before Rozie. I saw a lot differences, social lines, and everything was kind of clouded over with a fog like my glasses needed a good wiping. Its amazing that this one little chromosome can frustrated me and make me so happy all at the same time. I decided to let it go about the walking. Its just a vertical position and soon she will get there even if it takes months. Accepting my Rozie isn't just accepting her strengths its accepting the entire package including her struggles. Acceptance means i will open my arms wide to my daughter through her entire life, whether she gets married and lives independently, or if she grows up and still needs care and assistance. She is my daughter my baby, she is part of me. I love her with everything i have, and i also accept her not because she scores high on her evaluations, but because she is mine and i am hers. Acceptance is love and love is acceptance and i have a lot of room for both.