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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Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Journal - Week 23 (23Jan10)

Lately I am finding that I always think to myself, 'I wonder what Hunter will do today?'.  Today (rather yesterday as now it is after midnight) was the beginning of week 23 - or is it the end of week 23?  I don't even know exactly how I am counting these weeks, all I know is that Saturday's mark new week numbers.  This one being week 23.  This is precisely why people just use month numbers after a certain point, but since I am keeping a journal, I find that I need to keep track by week, or I wont have a proper title reference. 

On the 22nd, Hunter discovered he can use a sippy cup.  Yes, a sippy cup.  It's actually a training sippy cup, shaped and designed like one, with a rubberized spout instead of a hard one.  The cup instructs use for six months and up, but I figured since Hunter already knows how to drink from a cup, what's the big deal?  And, I was right.  Never put limitations on your children, they will surprise you.  If you allow them to do things that you think are impossible, they will, and they will do it well.  In his sippy cup we tried Heinz baby Apple Juice.  This too says start at six months, but I have been finding since introducing baby foods, Hunter is much more thirsty and also his bowels are a bit slow.  So, in speaking with the doctor, and consulting my handy-dandy books and Internet, I have been advised that watered down apple juice is the way to go.  Today he downed two ounces.  This baby loves new things.  Well, most new things.  And why not?  It has got to be so much better than tasting the same old booby milk everyday!  (I still breastfeed him the majority of the day and night with the exception of a 1/3 serving of Heinz or Gerber baby meal at dinner time.)
[Grandma helping Hunter with his sippy cup]

To end the evening tonight, Hunter had his bath, and yet another hair cut....  And, since last night was a disaster with bedtime, (Grandma rocked him to sleep at 10:30 pm, which totally put him out of whack) and Hunter woke up at 3:00 am, and stayed up until 5:00 am, I put him back to his regular bedtime schedule of midnight.  I am hoping that he will sleep until at least 5:00 or 6:00 am.  (I can always hope....)  We shall see how it goes this time.

Now, I think it's time for me to get ready for bed also.  I am extremely tired today, having been up so early!  Until next time....

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