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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Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Journal - Week 51 (12Aug10)

Who knows noeses better than Hunter knows?

First, I need to apologize for not posting as often as I normally do.  It has been a hectic week - I have been working like crazy trying to organize all the submissions for my book and website, plan for Hunter's birthday party and organize the construction for the monstrosity of a swing/play fort outside in our back yard (our birthday present to Hunter).  Not to mention, the most important task as always, taking care of a nearly 1 year old baby boy who is over actively exploring and learning so many things each day!

Today our Early Intervention superhero (and my friend) Jenn, came over for a check up visit on Hunter.  She has been having Hunter withdrawal since it appears Hunter doesn't need much "intervention"!  I love posting things like this because again, she and I spent our time catching up and going over all Hunter's accomplishments, and getting Hunter to show off for her.  Jenn makes my day (just as Hunter does by being so typical) with telling me, Hunter doesn't need any intervention!  He is developing typically, right on track with typical development.  She asked me if there was anything I felt that I would like her to go over or do, and honestly - since I know that Hunter is on track perfectly, there wasn't any thing I could ask of her.  I even showed Jenn how Hunter has learned body parts, most especially "the nose".  I told Hunter to show Jenn nose, and he pointed right at my nose.  (I do have to admit, we are having a bit of difficulty with Hunter pointing to his own nose, but I know it's only because Hunter can't see his own nose!  And a mirror lesson would probably help!)  Next Hunter sat on Jenn's lap and when I asked him to point to her nose, he diligently did.  That afternoon I introduced mouth, and now on command Hunter shows me "nose" and "mouth" properly and even if I mix them up, or randomly ask, he correctly points to the right one.  I can't help but be so proud.  I only taught him mouth in one afternoon, and he has been perfectly identifying the nose and the mouth.  Hunter is also very excited when it comes to walking, and we have been trying our best to accommodate his interest in this new method of locomotion.  He wants to do it all the time, but at the moment still needs help with balance.  While he can stand up holding onto the furniture, cruising the furniture is slowly coming along, and that is something that we are working on to help him gain confidence.  One thing that I noticed (ever since Hunter was tiny) is that Hunter can do everything he puts his mind to, but wont do it until he is absolutely sure he can do it.  He always is able to do things that we want him to do, but his own confidence sometimes stops him from trying things by himself.  So, since we know this we work around it and find ways to help him trust himself.
I have taken a few cute (yes, always cute) pictures of Hunter just being Hunter.  I hope you all enjoy these, because tomorrow, we will be having his birthday party and Lord only knows I will be taking a boat load of pictures and videos of this monumental event/milestone!

This is my E.I. Jenn.  I love her very much.  She helps me learn!
You want me to do what?  How about I show you my drum??!

I love cuddles, and with Jenn they are even better!
I love my chair mommy bought, it feels so nice and "touchably" soft!
I am loving this T.V. thingy.  (Don't you just love how I took over Mommy & Daddy's room?)
That's right, I watch The Steve Wilkos show with my Mommy in the afternoon.  I too am a fan!
I finally get to pet Mommy's other cat named Smudge.
Ohhhh, I know what you mean kitty, I love being patted too!
And one last thing, yes Hunter is a huge Steve Wilkos fan at under one year of age.  If you didn't believe it before, now you have picture proof.  I guess Hunter just knows good police officers when he sees them.  (Even if Steve Wilkos is retired!)
Stay tuned for first birthday pictures tomorrow!

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