Welcome to Our House - The Analogy ©

Having a baby is special. For some, it’s a lifelong dream, for others, a wonderful surprise. Either way, many of us have thought about taking this journey and whether it’s planned or a pleasant surprise, we all have preconceived ideas about what our child will look and be like. But what if it isn’t what we planned or expected? This is a short story I have written for parents who have or are expecting an exceptionally special child.

Welcome to our House – An analogy

After many months of dreaming, you finally decide it’s time. You are going to build that perfect house of your dreams. You have saved and saved, and now it’s time to put your plan into action. You find a wonderful, perfect piece of land in the city. It’s exactly what you are looking for – because it’s the plan that everyone talks about. You envision the all brick house sitting on luscious green grass, surrounded by a white picket fence. Inside is a marble foyer leading into a family room with beautiful oak hardwood floors. Granite lines the kitchen counter tops and there is an island sink in the middle. Upstairs has four perfect bedrooms and the master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and an enormous walk-in closet, of course. It’s truly a dream come true, and it’s only a matter of time. You purchase the land and think to yourself, in nine short months, you will have it all.

But suddenly your agent calls to tell you, the land is not properly zoned, and the city has not approved it for building your perfect home. They have instead, given you land in the country, where an old country home sits. You are absolutely devastated, your dreams vanishing right before your eyes. You know you can’t back out now, you need a place to live, and despite it not being what you wanted, you know that somehow you will manage and that you can continue on.

You tell everyone what has happened, and everyone is disappointed, some even offering their condolences. You know that everyone else has a nice city home, and that was what you had planned, but you have to come to terms with the fact that you must learn to live in the country.

You go to see the property every month until closing and something funny happens. You start to fall in love with the place. The air is fresh, it’s peaceful and serene. There’s a pond on the land, and the house, though not a new all brick home, is quaint, and has lots of hidden potential. You soon realize it’s not a awful place, it’s just a different place. It’s slower paced than the city, less noisy and flamboyant, but it’s beautiful none the less. And in the process, you soon realize you may even get to meet some new and wonderful neighbours.

Its closing day and you suddenly find yourself full of anticipation, but you are still a little worried. After all, it isn’t what you had originally hoped for, and the house may need some repairs. But you are determined to accept it, and tackle everything one step at a time. You open the front door, and suddenly you are thrilled with what you see. The house is lovely, and has lots of character. The rooms are smaller but it’s decorated with beautiful attention and detail. The kitchen has marble instead of granite, and the bathroom has a soaker tub instead of a Jacuzzi. There isn’t a walk-in closet in sight, but the rooms all come with an indescribable view. Somehow, you just know that it was always meant to be and that this is now home.

This is my analogy of what it will be like for people who discover that they will be caring for a baby with Down syndrome. For us, it is not a terrible place to be, it is a journey full of surprises, milestones and discovery like any other child. And as the story suggests, sometimes it’s only a matter of ‘point of view’, and surprisingly, once you have been there, you don’t want to be anywhere else. The journey, like all others doesn’t come without some bumps in the road, but once you find your way, it’s all about the place you discovered, in most cases - quite by random chance
Author: Sandi Graham-McWade, Copyright

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Journal - Week 20 (06Jan10)

What a great day today has been so far.  This morning, my tag team duo superheroes Jenn and Kay were here to fix up Hunter some more.  Hunter's kink in his neck has become much better since last time, he freely moves his head left and right now, but it still tends to get stuck facing right on occasion.  And, Hunter's weak neck muscles are still prompting him to tuck his chin down to his chest, but he's diligently working on holding his head up high.  He is however, doing some awesome tummy time things, and is now rolling over to his left and right! 

Hunter is definitely reserving his smiles these days for those people he recognizes, and chit chatting in overdrive for those he loves.  He still pouts and perhaps sheds a few tears when confronted with someone strange or new, so if he makes "funny" at you, try not to take it personally, he is still doing it to Grandpa too.

On the book front, I have been speaking with my Early Intervention team manager Ellen, and I have officially signed a consent form for the Ontario Association for Infant and Child Development (OAICD) to "publish" my analogy part of the story.  For now, I have agreed to let them publish my work in the Durham Region newsletters and websites, in Newspapers and Magazines, in any Down Syndrome Association website, and anything else they can suggest to get the story out, and more importantly get people educated.

Something else that I have been working on is now also materializing with the OAICD's help (specifically Ellen, Jenn and Kay - my E.I. team) - back in November I had been asked by the YMCA Ontario Early Years Centre's management if I would like to spearhead a play/learn group for special needs children.  This came about when I had asked them if they had any such groups that Hunter would be able to participate in, in addition to the already existing programs that they currently run.  Unfortunately, they told me that once upon a time they did have someone who was running a program for children with Ds, but since her child was now a teen, it hadn't really been her focus to continue it.  Before I could even jump at the opportunity to volunteer, the manager at the YMCA implied that I would probably be perfect for such a task.  I couldn't agree more.  And so, I decided that in order to do this right, I would need help.  With that in mind, I called in my 'big guns'.  I am so proud and happy that we can put this together, I know that many people can and will benefit from this plan.  And while I may be responsible for getting it underway, without my superheroes and the 'Y', it wouldn't be possible.  Our next step is to meet together and discuss our plans and hopefully put everything into motion. 

Lastly, today was another milestone day for Hunter.  Gerber baby food!  Carrots to be exact....  While the event was a messy one, and I am certain Hunter's insides are now a bright orange... he seemed to LOVE carrots!  This baby has no boundaries and is quite willing to try just about anything and everything.  That's my boy.  Good thing he likes the taste, because his smile captured on camera is worth a thousand words.

[What's this?]

[Ohhhh, soooo good!  Yummy carrots!]

And one last thing for the day - I just found out that my cousin had her baby boy this morning.  Congratulations Judy and Richard on your new bundle baby Alexander.  Welcome to parenthood, it's absolutely wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. It is very obvious that Hunter is stimulated by Mommy and Daddy in the possitive ways he needs. Keep up the good work.


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