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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Saturday, January 9, 2010

My Journal - Week 21 (09Jan10)

Today is Saturday and this marks another week of existence for Hunter.  He is now 21 weeks old, just shy of being 5 months old.  Hunter is developing quite the personality, he is a smart cookie and knows just how to get across what he wants.  He does have specific verbal abilities that tell us that he is hungry, tired or just happy babbling away.  He doesn't have any real recognizable words per se, but Daddy swears up and down that Hunter can say "Daddy".  To be honest, I have heard what John believes to be Hunter saying "Daddy" and it truly does sound like it.  Hunter has a whimper sort of cry that means he is hungry.  He has a whiny sort of cry that means he is tired, and the louder he gets, the more tired he is getting.  This is usually accompanied by yawning and rubbing of the eyes.  And the cuter sounds that fill up the rest of the day are Hunter's vocabulary.  He really tries to have conversations with us, and is very interactive when it comes to verbal exchange.  Lots of smiles and gurgles are also the norm.

Something else that is quite funny is that when he is hungry or watching someone eat, he will open his mouth very wide because he wants some too, and if you don't acknowledge him, he will bang your arm with either his hand or foot!  So, I have given in on some occasions and let Hunter have a tiny taste of vanilla ice cream.... I know he loves it.

The newest action of late is the closed fisted wave.  Don't believe me?  Well, since Hunter was small, we have always waved hello and goodbye to him.  Grandma makes it a point to wave Hunter's hand back to me or John when we do this.  Now, Hunter has picked this up because for the last three days, (and I made sure not to post this until I was sure it wasn't a coincidence) when someone waves at him, he waves back!  Not only does he do this when we wave and say hello or goodbye, but he has taken to doing it when he wants your attention!  Last night, Daddy was waving hello to Hunter while I was holding him, and Hunter promptly began waving right back at Daddy.  Hunter would stop, and Daddy would do it again, and Hunter would respond again.  This amused Daddy so he continued doing it over and over, like me, trying to see if it was really a cognitive action or just a fluke.  We have concluded (because there isn't any information to the contrary) that it is not a fluke.  Hunter is a good copy-cater!  Now we are working on trying to get him to open his hand while waving....  I will let you know when this happens.

Since Hunter can hold his head up now, (though he does have some trouble sometimes because of the low muscle tone in his neck) I decided to put the Jumperoo together.  We put him into it, and wow - he loved it!  I was surprised that his little legs did reach the ground, and he was able to push and bounce by himself.  It came to mind for me to do this because within the last week or so, I had been bouncing Hunter in my lap and he laughs his head off when we do this.  So, why not let him try it in the Jumperoo?  Here are a few snap shots of Hunter enjoying himself.

[Yaaaaa! I love this thing!]

[Look Mommy, I can bounce!]

Onto some other news, I have decided that I am going to create a web page for us.  It is mostly about Down syndrome and our journey with it, and also a place where people can learn some facts and perhaps also things that we have experienced.  It is currently in the works, and I find the more I do, the more I want to add.  I thought originally it was going to be a one page project, but it seems that just like Hunter, it is growing rapidly!  I have also linked this blog to it, so when I do publish my website, people will be able to access this blog directly from the page.  I will put out a post with a direct link when it is ready.

With respect to my story and the analogy part that I am publishing, I had thought it prudent to apply for a legal Canadian Copyright.  Even though through my research I learned that all literary work created in Canada is automatically protected by Canadian Copyright laws, and internationally there is such a thing called the Universal Copyright Convention, I felt that one can never be too protected when it comes to their own creations.  I wanted to make sure I had the ability to take action if someone copied or plagiarized my work, since it is also published on the World Wide Web.  Police level thinking again.

I have also recently made some changes to the blog which can only be seen when actually visited as opposed to reading these posts through the automatic emails that some of you get.  I added the "analogy" and I also added some resourceful web links and a reading list for those interested.  Anyway, time is up for today!  Back to the real world!

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