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, October 9, 2010

My Journal - Week 60 (09Oct10)

Happy Thanksgiving... Canadians!  (American's, you're next!)

Saturday was our day to have Thanksgiving Dinner.  It's the one time of the year (other then Christmas or Easter) where my mother cooks her infamous Turkey dinner.  And everyone loves her Turkey, even Hunter!  Hunter had never yet tasted fresh cut turkey until today.  I decided that since he's allowed to eat whatever we eat (as per our doctor) I would try and fore go the usual baby food in the jar (even though it's organic) and substitute it for a real home made meal.  I mashed up the turkey as mashed up as I could get it, (which looked more like stringy then mashed) before attempting to give Hunter it to taste.  Unfortunately Hunter is a very wise child and knows that if it didn't come out of a jar, it can't be his dinner.  I offered him a taste, which he reluctantly took from me (oh if you could see the initial expressions he gives when he tastes something new) and began chewing, chewing, chewing and ultimately storing, storing, storing (in his cheeks) the bits of turkey I gave him.  Here I was thinking he was actually swallowing the small pieces after he had been chewing them for so long, but nope.  They were being stored in side the mouth, by each cheek, just like a chipmunk.  Some of it managed to get swallowed, but the rest I simply gave up and removed it since the stored turkey was beginning to wad up.  In the interest of Thanksgiving I (very sneakily) opened a jar of Turkey and Veggies (appropriate organic baby food for the occasion) and somewhat sneakily plopped in the remainder of the mashed/shredded up left over turkey bits from his first bowl.  I knew I would make this work.  And by pure luck and sheer disguise, it worked!  Who says you can't feed your little one a turkey dinner?  Albeit undercover, Hunter was able to eat his Thanksgiving turkey dinner!  And, just for fun - Aunty Jane wanted to be a part of giving Hunter is very first Turkey dinner.  Of course, in absolute family fashion, she made sure to mention to Hunter that it was not her who was deceiving him by giving him the hidden turkey inside of his baby food, it was his Mommy's doing.  I inevitably got ratted out!  Oh well, he ate the whole thing. 

We had our fantastic dinner, then we relaxed and played with Hunter - who was showing off his basketball skills to everyone.  Hunter's Nana (John's Mom) was in town visiting back from the States, so it was nice for Hunter to have both sides of his Grandparents there on such a lovely holiday.  After the rest from eating, it was time for family fun - which has been a huge family tradition for us ever since I can remember.  Games games games.  Over the years we had played cards, Rumoli, Scrabble, Balderdash, Scategories, (and when the Texas Hold'em rage was all anew) Poker.  This year though we played the new Monopoly card game.  That was a whole lot of fun!  Since our game playing days were rapidly changing we seemed to not stay up as late playing.  In years gone past, our family would play these crazy games until well past midnight into the wee hours of the morning.  I figured as we were all getting older, perhaps those days were long gone - but after discovering this Monopoly card game, we have rekindled that late night game play!  We didn't finish playing until after 2:00 am!  Hunter did manage to stay up until 12:45 am, (dare I even say which is actually early for him as of the last month or two) but I guess with all the excitement and turkey (which is known to secret a sleepy hormone) he fell asleep out of exhaustion.  In any case, it was so nice to have that same kind of fun with the family all over again.

Here are some photos of the evening!

Yay!  I am getting real turkey for my dinner!!!
Yummy!  This is really good!  I wonder how many pieces I can put inside my mouth....
Where did my Turkey bits go??  Why are you are holding a different bowl?  What's going on?
Uhhh okay, this tastes good too! I know it's different but it still tastes like Turkey!
Look at me go!  I can get my cup and I can drink all by myself!  Juice washes the dinner down.
We are all together having Turkey dinner for Thanksgiving 2010!
Nana's holding me!  I miss seeing Nana!
I love having both my Grandparents here!  I'm a lucky boy!
Shooting some hoops for Daddy while everyone watches!
Stay tuned for more of course!


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