Thursday, May 17, 2012

Top 5 Reasons why Down syndrome Rocks!

Today while I was shopping at my home away from home also known as Target, I got sucked into that tiny isle. You know, the one in the baby section with all the little tiny newborn socks, mini sandals that fit in your palm, and little onesies that could fit a doll.  I looked at my big girl and I felt like I was just here buying her tiny sandals. Then I realized, "Hey, I was just here!" Rozie just recently grew out of newborn sized shoes, and honestly she wore 0-3 month for most of her first year. Rozie will be three in a few months and we are just now fitting in 24 month size, and honestly I'm loving every minute of her prolonged small size.  This got me thinking about these simple wonderful things that go along with having a child with Down syndrome. The stuff they don't tell you when the genetic counselor is sitting there with their large flip board explaining chromosomes and what and not. Trust me, there is no page they suddenly flip to with a picture of the tiniest shoes that can make the heart melt of even the most non-maternal. They don't look at you and say, "See these little heart melting wonders? Your baby will wear them for at least 2 wonderful years!  Every time you put them on her you will be forced to kiss her tiny toes, and most likely you may buy a few pairs and arrange them on a shelf so when she is not wearing them you can  look at them anytime you want."
This all got me thinking that there are many wonderful things about raising a child with Down syndrome. Here are my top 5:
1. Children with Down syndrome typically have a smaller stature causing them to have a baby appearance for longer. Low tone also contributes to this appearance. I am the mother that still sniffles a bit to see that her first baby with the soft blond curls is actually now taller then me.  I can honestly look each and every one of you in the eyes and say with all my heart that he was just a baby a few years ago, I was just holding his hand with the baby dimples last month. But alas he is grown into a teenager and it flew by way too quickly.  Rozie is staying in this stage a lot longer, and I relish each and every minute of it.  Give me baby fat, give me tiny clothes, give me soft baby snuggles, and hear me roar.

2. Children with Down syndrome need a little more help reaching their milestones.  They do everything a bit later on the developmental charts.  When a child has to work a little more to reach something we celebrate. When a child becomes a Bar Mitzvah we celebrate all the hard work and the huge achievements.  This is what having a child with Down syndrome is like.  Each milestone feels like a Bar Mitzvah.  No joke, I almost rented a hall to celebrate when Rozie walked.  I love this and I wish I celebrated each small milestone with my other children.  I wish I jumped for joy when Dovie first tracked a toy with his eyes, but I honestly don't remember when that happened.  For Rozie I know the exact time and date.

3. Having a child with Down syndrome will open your eyes in a positive way to the rest of the world.  It will soften your heart allowing you a new form of acceptance for people of all abilities.  I myself noticed that since I had Rozie, I was more accepting to people in general, but more so those who have mental disorders. One time a homeless man came into a store and started yelling at most of the shoppers.  Nothing scary, just loud.  I usually would try to avoid this type of situation like the plague, but I suddenly was able to see who he was, and I saw his neshama in a new light.  I did not run, I just went on with my shopping.  Thank you Rozie for giving me that gift.  I plan to treasure it always.

4. When you have a child with Down syndrome new people come into your life. I have made friends across this country some who I genuinely cherish.  I am so grateful that thanks to this little extra chromosome, I found these mommies to bond with.  Without it, I really don't think this chassidishe mommy would have ever met these amazing moms from places like Kokomo, Indiana, Ohio, Westminster, and many other places that I have never even heard of.  Since we are talking people in our lives, have I mentioned Rozie's therapists?  Oh, it will be a tear filled day when Rozie is no longer eligible for services through infants and toddlers.  I can not imagine what our life will be like without our weekly visits from some of our favorite people.

5. Last but not least, raising a child with Down syndrome is wonderful and amazing because having children is wonderful and amazing.  You realize that a mother's love is not based on a child's ability but on your own ability to accept and love.  You realize that having a child with special needs can sometimes be hard and sometimes not, and after you realize this you then realize this is true for all children.  You realize that children with special needs are not beings that walk around suffering from an illness, but neshamas that learn and do things differently. I personally love celebrating difference.
I sometimes sit and wonder when the other shoe is going to drop when is this going to be too much for me. I remember when Rozie was a newborn and had a lot of medical issues and saying to people this isn't so bad. People use to respond wait till she is a toddler and the differences will become more significant.  Then she turned two and I thought, hey this is actually getting easier.  Someone then responded to me, wait till she is 3 that is when the cognitive differences really become prevalent.  Rozie will be 3 in two months and I'm still waiting , but now I was told wait till she gets to elementary school that is when it gets hard.  Well I'm done waiting, because I have news folks, get ready it may be groundbreaking....Parenting is hard, period.  I have yet to hear a parent say "oh parenting is a breeze, I whizzed right through it without a hitch". Parenting is also eye opening life changing and worth every minute, and so is raising a little one with a bit extra.
May each and everyone of us merit the coming of Moshiach in our days so every neshama regardless of ability will shine bright.

26 comments :

Mommzy said...

truly touching-- thank you for sharing.

Chava said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chava said...

Beautiful Alisheva, thank you!
Now I have five more reasons to treasure my Schneouri :)

Team Lando said...

I love this one, and I LOVE the photos of Miss Rozie.

sally carter said...

Lovely words, lovely photos, lovely girl you've got there, Sheva! Thank you!

Becca said...

So sweet! And, may I say, I have heard the same things about the gap getting bigger at this age or that, but now, with Samantha in Kindergarten and about to go into 1st grade, I feel like she's moving along just fine with her typical peers, thankyouverymuch. Sure, there are gaps and differences, but they don't devastate me. She's learning and thriving and has friends. What more could we ask for?

Your little darling gets more and more beautiful every day. :-)

Chanalesings said...

THESE PICTURES ARE INSANE!!!!!! DELICIOUS!

Midlife Singlemum said...

I've just joined your sight having seen this post on fb via my friend Gabrielle Shine (we are both in Jerusalem). Fabulous post. I have a 3yo too and I look forward to reading more about yours.

Faygie Fellig said...

she is so gorgeous K"H beautiful post. hope you feel well.

Beth said...

If there is a smile that is bigger and brighter than Rozie's, I sure haven't seen it! HaShem knew exactly what He was doing when He made that little maideleh. I will tell you a secret: I was having a pretty bumpy week, feeling tired and overwhelmed by Life...and the moment I saw Rozie and her gorgeous smile, my heart leapt within me and I felt my neshamah soar. :) Gut Shabbos!

Devorah Maven said...

You are an amazing mother! May Hashem grant you continued blessings and nachas from all your children! IMO it is positive attitude like yours that makes parenting/life a pleasure <3

Susan Carson said...

Wow- Perfectly said! Thank you for this, and for the beautiful Rozie pictures.

goldenleaves said...

I LOVE this post! I love the Lauren's tiny feet are still way too tiny for her newborn shoes (I stuff the toes of her shoes with tissue paper!)and I really love that I've been given the opportunity to love such an amazing child.

Meganlela said...

I have absolutely loved this post. Though our children's issues are different, we've gone through so many mutual struggles. Thank you for the encouragement! I need to stop looking to all the things ahead and enjoy the now!

Meganlela said...

I have absolutely loved this post. Though our children's issues are different, we've gone through so many mutual struggles. Thank you for the encouragement! I need to stop looking to all the things ahead and enjoy the now!

Meganlela said...

I absolutely love this post! Eventhough our kids have different issues, we go through so many of the same struggles. I need to learn to appreciate the present and quit worrying about what may or may not ever happen.

Wendy said...

She is just delicious! Thank you for sharing little Rozie with us. I totally agree with your 5 and appreciate your encouragement about our little ones with designer genes! G-d has blessed us so much with Knox and we that Him every day for our little surprise!

Anetka said...

Thank you for sharing! What a wonderful little person/treasure you have! I loved every word. Love from Sweden

Leah said...

A truly lovely list. Rozie is growing to be such a gorgeous young girl!

leah said...

Really Nice. Rozie looks ADORABLE!!!!!!!!!!!!

lovemy3 said...

She is such a beautiful little girl! Loved this post! I hear it all the time...the differences will get bigger...you with notice it more as she gets older.

temima said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful list! Rozie is lovely in her photos. You can see her mommy's love in that happy, beautiful face.

Rivky Friedman said...

Thanks Sheva for such a beautiful positive outlook!

TUC said...

Great post. Love the extended baby phase.

Yoni Schlussel, CLC, MS OTR said...

I truly loved your positive perspective! Especially since I BH have a brother with Downs who is now over 30- so I can tell you there will be great blessings all along the way. I hope you don't mind I posted your words on my blog- with a link to your blog. I had written for Parshas Shelach about accepting the shelichus Hashem sends you on- and I thought you were a perfect example.
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

This makes my heart happy! What a beautiful life you live :)