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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Friday, April 2, 2010

My Journal - Week 32 (02Apr10)

Special Playgroup - YMCA Early Years Centre
(Just a little update as promised.)

I have spoken with the YMCA Early Years Centre in Pickering, and we will be having our first "setup meeting" on Wednesday April 14th.  This meeting will be between the manager, myself and Hunter's EI consultant Jenn.  At this meeting, we are hoping to talk about the direction we want this play group to go, the frequency of the meets, and everything else that a special needs playgroup should have.  I can't wait for this to become a reality.  It's certainly been a long time in the making, but it was not for lack of wanting to do it.  The centre has been extremely busy since last November, and I only got a call back last week.  I will keep everyone posted on when the group will officially open!

On that note, I received a guestbook note a little while back from Anne Tsimelkas of Oshawa.  Anne - if you are out there, I saw that you are interested in joining the play group!  I don't have any contact information for you so, I am hoping you are reading these posts still, and you can email me if you are still interested in coming once the group is ready - coincidentally the day we have our meeting, you will be celebrating Taylor-Rose's 1st birthday, which is what made me think of you both!

You wrote: 
"I am very excited to have stumbled upon your website. I am the proud mother of a beautiful "chromosomally enhanced" baby girl named Taylor-Rose. We were not aware that Taylor-Rose had Down Syndrome until she was born. Although we were shocked,scared and unaware of what DS was, we loved our little bunny boo sooo much:) Taylor-Rose will be 1 year old on April 14th...this has been the best year of my life:) I really loved your analogy, Welcome to our house,and really look forward to being a part of a playgroup."

And to everyone else interested in joining the playgroup - I will have more specific details after our meeting, but primarily the focus of the group is for children with special needs (we originally were going to have a group for children with Down syndrome, but we realized that we would likely get a larger group if we opened it for any child with special needs).  We are hoping to be able to provide a place to meet, talk, play and get additional help/info from the O.A.I.C.D. team (Ontario Association for Infant and Child Development) on an as needed/scheduled basis.  The group will be free, as the space and facility is provided by the YMCA, and myself and Jennifer will be volunteering our personal time to ensure the group runs successfully.

Please email me at:  tkd73@sympatico.ca if you wish to join or would like further information.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Sandi. I am happy that you are getting involved in such a worthwhile endeavor. I am sure the community will appreciate your contributions.


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