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, May 14, 2011

My Journal - Week 89 (14May11)

It's my POTTY and I will cry if I want too!!??  NOT!

If anyone knows anything about having renovations done, they will tell you it's one of the most time consuming things that will take over a huge part of their lives.  I decided that before our next bundle of joy makes her entrance, I wanted to get my master bathroom shower stall renovated (despite our home only being 5 years old).  Part of the reason for wanting this done was Hunter's sudden inclination to have showers and no more baths!  Our existing shower stall is just not large enough for one single adult let alone an adult and a child!  But without getting into the glory of destroying and uprooting your whole entire home for something perhaps so small in comparison to an entire home renovation, needless to say it has been a long couple of weeks.  One week of planning and another so far of actual reno's.

So, without further ado, there's quite a bit of information that I could have been posting that I have somewhat neglected to post due to all that has been going on.  Firstly, Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's out there!  I wanted to share with you how I spent my Mother's Day.  My family doctor had asked me quite some time ago if I would be interested in reading my book, "I Have Down syndrome, What Does That Mean?" to the children of his churches congregation.  I readily accepted because it's something I am so passionate about.  As the time neared to do this reading, he asked me if I would enjoy doing a Down syndrome presentation to the "bigger kids" (adults) of the same congregation.  I was flattered and happy to do so.  The date of the presentation would fall on Mother's Day and I couldn't have thought of a more apt day to do it.  The presentation would revolve around my journey as a mother to be, learning about my first born coming into this world with Down syndrome.  I embrace doing Ds presentations.  For me, speaking in front of large groups is something that I thrive on doing.  I love to speak and my passion in life has become all about advocacy, so it stands to reason why I would enjoy doing this kind of thing.  I have already been privileged enough to do previous presentations so it was not something I worried about at all.  The morning was perfect, the reading to the children was sweet and meaningful.  But most of all, the adult presentation I did in conjunction seemed to captivate the entire audience.  I think, having my star (Hunter) as my most precious part of presentation, always makes the difference.  People don't have to only acknowledge what I am saying, and or have to just believe in what say but they have a real live opportunity to see and learn directly from him - because he was there, showing off as usual!

Time is quickly going by and as my pregnancy nears an end (four more weeks), as a mom I worry about how much of an effect having baby number two will be on Hunter.  All parents who have a second baby go through this very specific worry, I am sure.  Baby number one, who has been the centre of attention, who has been the only child during his whole existence to this point is about to be introduced to a new little family member.  It's not the same worry when you have a third child, and while there are unique challenges every addition, this one I believe is the most mentally concerning for your first child.  As a result there has been a lot of strategical planning that I know in my heart, no amount can prepare us for.  Part of this planning is why I thought and decided to introduce Hunter to his Potty!  I don't expect him to be potty trained in a short time, and especially with baby coming, I know that many things will likely take a back seat, but I figured making a first introduction can't hurt.  Last night before Hunter's shower, I busted out his brand new potty and decided to see what would happen when we put him on it and asked him to do his Pee-Pee.  Would you believe, within 30 seconds of sitting him on it, and telling him to do his Pee-Pee, he did!  I can't say how amazed I was.  No amount of descriptive words can tell you how elated I was that my little man did his business on command!!  I know that Hunter takes his cues from how pleased I am when he does something new and accurate.  I only wish I had thought (once again) to record the moment, but I guess there has to be some shreds of dignity left for my son when he's an adult!  Now, again as I mentioned, I don't expect my boy to "hop to it" and be fully trained in a short time (and perhaps I should have some expectations) but the reality is, it's a beginning and the expectations I have are that when baby comes, Hunter may backtrack or regress a bit/a lot in spite of a new addition.  So, I think I am prepared for which ever reality occurs, or have told myself to be.

And while this post has become somewhat long in all the catch up, I decided to post Hunter's last two swimming lessons in a separate next post.  So, check back in a bit for the updated videos of Hunter's on going swimming lessons.  Which, if I may say so - have been absolutely wonderful.  I also decided that we will be continuing his lessons and I have renewed another 11 weeks despite the more expensive cost.  His progress is truly evident and speaks huge volumes of why we need to continue his lessons with B&C Aquatics.

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