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, April 21, 2011

My Journal - Week 86 (21Apr11)

Unassisted, Unaided Standing up!!

It's official, we have it on video.  Today, I was able to get a video of Hunter "self-standing up".  To me, it's funny, all it takes is a simple dryer sheet, tissue or paper and even an empty tissue box!  It's all about distraction and confidence.  One allows the other to cultivate and grow.  It's the story of Hunter's life.  What we know he can do, he wont - for lack of confidence.  What he eventually does he does out of distraction or deception!

So, Yay for Hunter!  With today's repetitive self standing occurring we are hoping the many amounts of times that he completed this new milestone will ensure that he is much more confident with his new ability and that he will continue to do it without looking for walls or furniture to go to first!


So what did we do to encourage this?  I know that Hunter is both a visual and kinesthetic (physical) learner - where being a visual learner is how he recognizes what to do, and is his motivator and kinesthetic is his practical way of getting there.  I figured it would help for Hunter to see how to stand up by himself (thus watching various children who were already doing this) and then to also to position him to physically go through the motions of standing up using his own body and not furniture or walls.  After watching his cousin standing up and also watching his friend Taylor Rose a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the way they each stood up by themselves.  With his (typical) cousin, "tripoding" (bum up hands down) worked and watching his friend Taylor Rose (also has Ds) she "tripoded" but used her knees to get the rest of the way up.  I noticed for our kids, where their bodies may be perhaps less muscular or shorter in certain areas such as length of arms or legs - they need to go through an extra step of figuring out what works best for them.  Most people don't realize that having to learn an action or milestone and then secondly learning a completely different way to do it (which would be physically unnatural for most others) is what can cause or is the delay.  Think about it though, is it really a delay or is it just that there is something more!  Children with Ds, or perhaps Hunter more specifically as an example, are going though more stages to accomplish physical events which in hindsight may obviously take a bit more time if more steps are involved!  I had to laugh however, it may seem backward to some, walking and running first before being able to get to a standing position unassisted, but I think Hunter is a smarty pants to have figured out how to do it this way.  Why not be mobile first?  He knew he had access to getting up so, there was no reason to delay walking whatsoever!  Whatever and whichever the way, practice does make perfect!

Oh and for the record, just how cute is it that he gets mad when I want to take the tissue away, or that he says "Bye Bye" at the end and of course the best part of all is that each and every "stand up" was done with only one hand!?!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing...I've never seen him do so much walking. Way to go Hunter.

    ReplyDelete

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