Our two-year-old, Lilah, is suddenly growing by leaps and bounds, it seems. Not physically - I mean developmentally. Cognitively, all that. The sentences she is suddenly putting together are amazing. She makes jokes, and gets them. She goes into her closet, pulls out a dress and matching shoes (okay, sometimes they don't match), and puts the ensemble on all by herself. Stuff like that. And even after having witnessed this in the four kids previous to her, Michael and I still marvel at her growing accomplishments.
Today Daisy asked me, "Mommy, when Finn grows up, will he be a mommy or a daddy?" And I really just wanted to cry. Of course I didn't tell Daisy the truth - that Finn will never be either - because what's the point in giving that kind of information to a four-year-old. So instead, I told her, "Girls are mommies, and boys are daddies." And inside I just felt this ache.
Finn is eight months old, and you know what? I think I still haven't made peace with the fact that he has Down syndrome. I don't know if I ever will. There are other parents in the Ds community - lots of you who read this - who say they wouldn't change that about their child. And I have a hard time wrapping my head around that. It's not that I love Finn any less than my other children - the truth is, I love him so much that sometimes it's a physical tightness in my chest and throat. It's not that I think he's inferior, or less than, because he has Ds. What it is, I think, is that I hate . . . HATE . . . the hardships he will face because of his Ds. I hate it that he will never be a father. And then, of course, that thought is always followed by this thought: "But it's probably for the best . . ." And that's true. Why? Because people like him usually can't take full care of themselves, let alone a child. And I hate it. I hate knowing that it's for the best that he will never have children of his own. I hate knowing that when he's two, chances are pretty slim that he'll be doing all the amazing things that Lilah is doing now. My stomach turns over every time I try to envision him in school one day . . . I don't want him stuck in a segregated "special ed" class, but the thought of him being included in regular classes makes me picture throwing him to the wolves. I hate it that people will either stare at him, or pretend not to see him. I hate it that people will snicker behind his back. I hate it that he'll probably never get a driver's license or buy a house, and he certainly won't raise a family. I hate it that I already analyze my other kids and try to figure out which one of them will be best suited to become Finn's caretaker when I'm dead and gone.
It's not all bad, I don't mean to say that. He's brought so much love and joy into our family, and I wouldn't trade him for anything. I love him. But I wish he didn't have Ds. And I just don't understand how a parent makes peace with that.
Adieu - After more than two years and 555 posts (556 counting this one!), I'm saying goodbye to Adventures in Motherhood. I'm ready for a change, and I've started ...
6 years ago