Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Three Years Ago

Please forgive my lack of posting lately.  I have been caught up in many things -- the end of the school year, start of summer, focusing on family issues, kid sickness -- in other words, life as usual.  I also worried that I didn't have anything "profound" to say in a sea of many bloggers who bring God's truth to the world every day.  And so please excuse some of my rambling...which I'm sure I'll do tonight since this is my first post in over a month!

But today, I realized that words aren't always profound -- sometimes they are laid on our hearts, maybe to share, maybe to reflect, maybe just to abide in the One who put them there. 

So tonight, I was thinking about all these things while  Henry and I were having our usual before-dinner ritual, where he swings in the swing, the kids and I push him, and I let dinner sit or bake until daddy is done with work.  Watching Henry smile and giggle is always enjoyable, every night.

And I realized that, three years ago, I received the news that Henry had a high risk of having Down syndrome.  I was scared.  I didn't know what Down syndrome meant, really, since I knew few people with DS.  But I knew I loved my son, and more than anything, I wanted the best for him.  I did my best not to worry and wait for the birth of our first son!

The pediatrician who met with us after Henry's birth exuded kindness...and tiredness.  It was 5 p.m. on a Friday, and I'm sure she wanted to go home to her own family.  But she calmly explained the signs that showed her why she thought he had Down syndrome.

Reflecting now...she described
- A extra space between the first and second toe....which I now see as adorable
- Low muscle tone...which I could tell right away holding him, as he was like a rag doll.  Now, of course, he's dancing and walking and climbing on furniture
- Eyes spaced a little far apart, nose a little flat...which makes him Henry
- No palmar crease...which is a single line on the hand which some kids w/DS have, but Henry doesn't.

What did I see?  A sweet, teeny boy.  Born early but never spent a day in the NICU.  Born with an extra chromosome, and loved every moment from birth. 

I admit -- I did cry.  Who wouldn't?  Our world touts perfection, normalcy.  But it didn't take long for Mama and Papa Bear fierceness to come in.  We loved this boy.  We didn't know where life would take us.  But it was going to be OK.

Today?  I feel a little silly for worrying so much.  All those blood tests and ultrasounds and doctors visits and days on bedrest were important -- but they don't define what it is to have this child.   I am SO LUCKY to have Henry.  Our family is so immeasurably blessed by Henry -- and because Henry has Down syndrome.  There is something just special and unique about this little guy, and I am grateful every day that Kevin and I have been blessed with two and a half years with him.

There are many parents that would give anything to have a child, or to have their child with them a little longer.  Meanwhile, I have this amazing bundle of happiness, plus two big sisters who adore (nearly) everything he does.

Thank you, God, for sharing all of your blessings with us.  Forgive me for worrying so much, and for not trusting You.  Forgive me for not savoring the blessings I have.  May others feel the call to share -- and savor -- your blessings.