Friday, March 29, 2013

What a year....

It's Friday, March 29th.  Today, I worked, as usual, and it was much like any other Friday.  I did some laundry, I read some books to the daycare kids, I made breakfast, lunch and supper, I swept the floors (four times).

Many times throughout the day, I thought back to a year ago today and what that day was like...and let me tell you what can change over the course of one year....

One year ago today, I made my family pork chops and potatoes for supper.  After supper, the girls took their baths and we delivered them to the people who would look after them until the time came to reunite them with us and their new baby brother.  I took a long hot bath and shaved my legs and procrastinated going to bed because I knew that when I woke up I'd be preparing myself to go to the hospital and give birth.

One year ago today, I was one hugely pregnant mambo mama who could barely waddle from one room to the next.  I was an emotional mess, in pain and extremely uncomfortable.  My legs were swollen and the veins in my left legs were bursting out the side - my carpal tunnel was nearing the point of unbearable.

One year ago today, my head and heart were swimming with the realities of having a son.  Oh the dreams we dreamed!  We were so close to completing our family once and for all and we couldn't wait.

One year ago today, we argued one last time over baby names.  I wanted Westyn Jon, Kevin wanted Magnus Jon (no kidding) we settled on Philip Loren or Loren Philip after our dads.

One year ago today, I believed that I had a perfect life and that nothing in this world could change that. Nothing in this world could challenge my beliefs, nothing in this world could alter my dreams.

One year ago today, I believed my life was filled with every amazing person I would ever know - they were already in my heart.

One year ago today, I used the word 'retarded' on a fairly regular basis.

One year ago today, I didn't know what Down syndrome really was.

One year ago today, I was selfish.

One year ago today, I was someone different than I am now.

One year ago today, I feared nothing.

Wow, what a year can do to a person.

Today...I made Tacos in a bag for supper and shared them with close friends who came to celebrate Sam's birthday.

Today...I am not pregnant. *phew*

Today...I have a son, my family is complete and it is perfect.

Today...I still marvel at how much I love the sound of Sam's name as it rolls from my mouth.

Today...I realize my life was far from perfect, and it's still not perfect - but it is amazing, and I'm blessed with so many that a year ago I didn't pay attention to, gifts that a year ago meant nothing to me.

Today...I have more amazing people in my life than I thought possible.  Because of Sam, we've met many many families who have become wonderful friends to us and for us, and we're not done yet.  We're a part of a family that only a select few get to experience and it is truly a wonderful gift.

Today...I fight to remind people how insulting and hurtful it is when they use the word 'retarded.'

Today...I know what Down syndrome is....and I know how it affects the individuals who have it as well as the people who love them.

Today...I'm not 'as' selfish as I was a year ago. :)

Today...I am different.  I love deeper, I feel more, I accept more, I see more hope.

Today...I'm scared as hell.  We are on a journey during which we will face a world of people who don't accept, who will point fingers and ridicule.  We'll encounter people who will ignore, people who will reject, people who will criticize.  Let them.  I hope for a better tomorrow.

When I first began thinking about and planning for Sam's first birthday, there was one idea that I couldn't get out of my head.  I want a Re-do.  I want to go back and do March 30th, 2012 over.  I want to go back and celebrate in those moments I was too busy crying.  I want to go back and hoot and hollar in those moments I was curled in a ball on my hospital bed.  I want to take back the cussing I did at God.  I want to go back and do it all over again.  I want to set my alarm for 4:03 a.m. and get up, take a shower, put on my makeup and do it all over again.  Only this time, at 12:08 pm when I look in my sons face, I want the tears that streak my face to be tears of pride and joy, tears of happiness and tears of awe...not tears of fear and anger.  I'm not proud of March 30, 2012.  It was the most (in Ella's words) "suckful" day of my life.   But why?  Because I let it be.   I knew so little and we were so scared, my natural reaction is exactly what I did - I shut down.  Tomorrow, will be different.

Dear Sam,
I'm so sorry.  I hope every day of my life that you'll forgive me for the tears I cried.  I LOVE YOU more than life itself and I will never be able to repay you for the gifts you've given me.  You've made us all better people and I can't wait to celebrate YOU tomorrow.  When the guests arrive at 11:30, your big sister Marie is going to read Green Eggs and Ham, and we're going to gobble up Grandma Robbie's amazing scalloped potatoes and ham and we are all going to sing to you as you smash your fists into your cake and then your cake into your face (I have no doubts this is going to be entertaining because I know you got your sweet tooth from your mama) and then, I'm going to let go.  I'm going to forgive myself for every sad moment in the days after you were born.  Those days shaped me some as a mother, but they do not define my love for you and I need to let them go.  I need to forgive myself for every negative thought, and for believing my life was going to change in bad ways.  I'm so sorry.  I know you won't remember the times when I held you so close you could hardly breathe and cried and screamed with anger over the loss of what I dreamt while I carried you inside of me, but I'm going to apologize for them anyway.  I. Love. You.  I. Believe. In. You.  I will always be your biggest cheerleader.  I can't promise that I won't cry again...the day will come when someone says something to hurt you, someone will reject you because of who you are.  But, I will be here and you will always know that in my heart you are the best son a mother could ever dream of - you give us what many other sons can't.   You are a gift.  You are a treasure.  You are an answer to my prayers.  You are beautiful, and so amazing, my child, my beloved child.


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