Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Future...

October is Down syndrome awareness month and I thought I'd share with you one of my very first awareness posts- written 3 years ago!  My how things have changed as far as what the kids are doing but the message of the post has not changed.  We're still not in control and we don't know what the future holds...

October, 2009

The Future...

Yes, it's something we all think about from time to time or maybe for some, all of the time. Questions we may ask ourselves: Where will I be 10 or 20 years from now, what kind of job will I have, what will my family be like? When you have kids you of course think about their future as well as yours. But when you are told you will have a child with special needs, it is often the very first thing you think about. 

Don't know why but for some reason it's all I could think about when we first found out. When I got that call from the genetic counselor on December 26th, 2008, telling me that our baby did indeed have Trisomy 21, I went to my room to cry and all I could picture was a man with Down syndrome in the grocery store, bagging groceries. And all I could think was this will be my son, the grocery bagger. Just being honest here. This was my picture of Down syndrome. A random man in the grocery store was really my only experience so this is what I claimed for my son's future.

So why is it that I assume so much and automatically put limits on Bennett? Why do I assume Ainsley and Harper will go to college and have a great job and a beautiful family but for Bennett I assume he won't go to college or get married or have a great job? Every day I see a video of someone with Down syndrome either getting married, driving a car, getting crowned Prom King, swimming across the ocean. Why do I put these limits on Bennett? Why is it when you are told you will have a child with special needs you automatically assume they won't amount to much. Why does society assume they won't amount to much? No one knows what the future holds.

And why is it that I look down on a job such as bagging groceries for a living? That person is happy, helping others and contributing to society. If that's what Bennett ends up doing, what would be so bad with that?

I can't tell you how many times I've read about people just finding out their child has Down syndrome and their first concern often is: Will my child live with me for the rest of his/her life? I've thought of it too. When I was pregnant I thought how will Mike and I ever go on a vacation by ourselves when the girls are off and married and we still have Bennett? There I go again, assuming away.

I think through this process thus far I have really learned to take things day by day. I cannot focus on a future that is not in my hands. I've learned I cannot put limitations on any of my children, I cannot assume they will do this or that or they won't do this or that. Again, it's letting go of that control I, and I think many parents try to hold onto that control so tightly. 

We are not in control. Simple as that.

It's very nice to just let go of the assumptions in life and focus on today. Today Ainsley is a happy 4 (almost 5!)year old that enjoys school and dance and playing with her sister. Today Harper is a fun loving 2 year old that is learning to talk more and use big words like: cinnamon roll and rhinoceros {so cute to hear her say these by the way}. And today Bennett is a cute, almost 5 month old and he is learning to swat and grasp at toys that dangle above him, roll both ways and makes us smile bigger than we've ever smiled just by seeing his sweet face. Today we are simply living for today and not focusing so much on tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Glad I found your blog! My son Mason is 2 & 1/2. And the most wonderful person I have ever loved!! To me, he having DS is any afterthought. He does very we'll in all aspects of life.
    I, too, had all those same thoughts shortlyafter he was born. I feel like that is societies fault and hopefully that way of thinking can change by us changing our thinking.to me, Mason is NOT different, if anything he is better than the rest of us! Constantly finds the goodness in everything and everyone and he is only two and a half! Go Mason..can't wait to see what he'll teach me tomorrow!


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