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, October 3, 2011

My Journal - Week 110 (03Oct11)

My Son is GROWING....

It's been precisely six weeks since I last blogged.  My Son is growing taller and my Daughter is getting heavier.  Either, time is running away with my children or I haven't got any time to stop and smell the roses....  I think both are true at the moment.  For me - things have been complicated and busy.  But, progress with Hunter has been phenomenal.  Swimming is about the same, small progressions each week.  Hunter's Early Intervention happens about each month, or two with the status as usual (Hunter is meeting his goals).  We had requested our family physician to refer Hunter to Grandview for Speech Therapy, just to ensure we covered all our bases ahead of time.  Though Hunter's cognitive and receptive language skills are at the typical mark, his expressive language seems to have fallen a bit behind.  But, what we have noticed is that Hunter is more than capable of "expressing" his desires and wants but often resorts to grunting to express his frustrations.  Our problems lie with the fact that we know very well what Hunter means and wants, thus allowing him to continue to "grunt".  I have been attending a workshop held by Grandview which teaches the principles of the Hannen Program - (a program designed to facilitate speech in children who seem to be delayed for one reason or another).  I have learned quite a few tricks to encourage Hunter to verbally express himself but I find our only challenge is not Hunter!  It's getting four adults to co-operate and properly facilitate these lessons with consistency!  I am pleased to say (despite the inconsistencies) that Hunter has learned to do a whole "whack" of new things just from this program alone.  All due to the adults in this household being reprogrammed....
For instance, Hunter now self feeds (a trick he knew how to do long before recently).  Hunter no longer has any need for a baby bottle.  He now drinks his milk and juice from his sippy cups and can drink from a regular cup with help.  He pleasantly says "Hi!" to everyone in the home as well as first thing in the morning to ensure his Mommy and Daddy get up out of bed.  Hunter now indicates when he is hungry by pointing to his belly or to his mouth (we are still working on words instead of signs though).  Hunter has discovered the world of song.  He sings in tune most nursery rhymes albeit the words are indistingishable.  He rambles on a mile a minute, sentences that only Hayleigh at the moment understands.  If ever you saw two little ones talking to one another, don't assume they don't understand one another.  Hunter and Hayleigh have daily conversations!  On the topic of brother and sisterhood, my two little children are getting along much more famously now.

Hunter is now over 32".  Somehow (it seems almost overnight) my son has grown so much that we seem to have to move everything out of his reach.  He now is able to open doors inside the house.  Just today, Hunter nearly escaped the bathroom after discovering that he could open the door, all on his own.  Imagine that.

Since I opened the Dragon Ink Tattoos and Piercings Studio, Hunter himself decided to "get ink".  Take a look at a photo taken on our Grand Opening day... (the tattoo isn't real - even though it looks authentic).

Today even Miss Hayleigh has been deemed "ahead" for her age.  Jenn had been reviewing Hayleigh due to our concerns about possible Fetal Abstinence Syndrome, which to date has proven to be non existent.  Hayleigh had been drooling (what we believed to be the start of teething) only to discover that she indeed has a bottom tooth!  Imagine, at only 3 1/2 months old... a tooth.  Wow.

So, enjoy a few photos that had been taken over the last 6 weeks!

The Wolverine - aka Hunter needing a hair cut....

Miss Hayleigh engrossed with Mr. Froggy

Miss Hayleigh with Uncle Ollie

Hunter with his new "Tattoo"....
Hunter "getting" his new "fake" Tattoo!!! (It's our real artist but not a real session).

And there you have it, an update!  Next time I'll put in a swimming video!

1 comment:

  1. To enable Hunter to get the lyrics of the songs down pat put a cd of his favourite ones in his bedroom and play them each time he's being put down to sleep. The repetition helps greatly. Our son did not have much speech till the age of 4 but then it developed rapidly and to date he has an huge vocab and great comprehension. He went to vote this week.
    He did attend speech therapy and preschool programs that were just emerging back in the mid 70's.
    PS He loves all the MJ music and knows all the lyrics to all the songs. He thinks MJ was very special and is saddened by his death but says MJ was wrong to abuse his body with drugs, a conclusion he came to by watching the news.


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