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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Monday, August 23, 2010

My Journal - Week 53 (23Aug10)

How many teeth do you think I have now???

Since I discovered Hunter's first tooth, I made it a point to bush, every night.  Because of the nightly brushing, I know right away when new teeth come in.  It has been a long time since I posted anything about his teeth, and I often forget to update people on the newer teeth.

About a week ago I realized Hunter sprouted two new teeth.  But they definitely were not the ones you would expect to see at this stage.  Originally, Hunter first sprouted his bottom two front teeth, then next his top two.  After that, he grew the top one on the right next to his front two.  For a long while it remained at five teeth, until last week when I noticed that he had sprouted the two new ones I just mentioned.  The two newest teeth that came in are his upper molars!  Now, I do know that for babies and toddlers with Down syndrome, teeth can come in - in any order, smaller sizes and crazy sharp or jagged shapes.  Hunter's bottom teeth were definitely more pointier then what you would call usual, yet his top front teeth look completely typical.  At this point, I can't really tell what the molars are going to look like, but they are definitely sharp.  Now, having seen that new discovery a week ago, and brushing his teeth tonight, I just discovered another new tooth!  Finally the left tooth next to the front top two has come in.  Wow!  Hunter now has a total of eight teeth.  The funny thing is, six of the eight are on top, leaving only the two front teeth left for the bottom!  No wonder he can chomp on all kinds of foods (and my fingers) so well!  I hope they will even out a bit, maybe add a few newer ones to the bottom?

Maybe soon I can get a picture of his new teeth... but I can't make any promises!  Every time I open his mouth, he expects me to brush his teeth, so if I do get a nice picture, it will probably consist of teeth brushing! 

Parent/Child Support-Play group update:
I promised an update regarding the Parent/child support-playgroup that I am creating with the YMCA Early Years Centre.  I have an upcoming meeting this Thursday (26 Aug) to finalize details for the fall program.  The group will run out of the Pickering YMCA Early Years location.  I thought to post, if anyone out there is interesting in joining our group, but has any questions that they would like us to talk about during our meeting this Thursday, feel free to send me a message or leave a comment post.  We will be talking about frequency of the group meets, the objective of the group, the services that will be provided, and any potential training for the staff at the YMCA.

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