Thursday, October 13, 2011

What if

Today Abigail blew me away again with her hidden genius. She is fascinated with the computer and sees her siblings playing with it. Have you ever seen her hands? Abbie has the sweetest, tiniest little hands. Every time she tried to use a mouse, nothing happened. She'd get frustrated and fuss and smack the mouse. I happened to see a travel mouse in a bargain store so I purchased it. It's about, oh, maybe 1/3 of the size of a standard computer mouse.

Once that tiny little mouse was plugged in, and she got her tiny little hand on it, she took off like a shot! She loves the Blues Clues ABC/1-2-3 CD and can do it all by herself, and do it all correctly. You dazzle them, girl, because you're sure impressing me! What a typical toddler. You'll be taking after your biggest brother soon. True story: in preschool, the teachers would ask Jakob to fix their computers, and he could! They would tell him what wasn't working, and he'd fix it.

Let's play the "what if" game today. You know, that game you play with yourself when something unexpected happens in your life, and you're feeling that somehow you could have made things turn out differently.

What if I didn't have that drink at my cousin's wedding?

What if I didn't get that flu shot?

What if I were a better Christian?

What if I hadn't stumbled on the sidewalk and fallen on the ice?

Well, look at this this way. If you had not had the experiences that you have had during your life time, you wouldn't be you, now, would you? Ha ha ha... wrap your head around that sentence if you can.

I know that for me and for other new parents that I've spoken with, often times there is a feeling of guilt and responsibility for your child that has Down syndrome, as if you cause it to happen.

Not so.

Down syndrome is a genetic condition, meaning the genes that make up who you are from the moment of your conception, have been tweaked. Instead of 2 copies of each chromosome (one from Mom and one from Dad), people with Down syndrome have and extra copy of the 21st chromosome. Neat, huh? Designer genes :)

Early on in our journey with Down syndrome, I felt extreme guilt, feeling that my body had somehow failed to do it's job. I have since come to see that my body did it's job perfectly, and created this amazing little person with a beautiful personality and perfect (at least in my eyes) genes.

Playing the "what if" game gets you pretty much nowhere. We live a linear existence. We experience time as a one-way street. There's nothing we can do to go back and change things, so why do we have this obsession with playing "what if"?

What if I hadn't had Abigail? What if I hadn't been blessed by her life? What if I didn't have the privilege of being her Mom? I can't even contemplate that. I can't even think of not having all my children. I love them and don't regret having them for a moment. A moment is the smallest measurement of time. I have not regretted having them for even a moment.

See what I mean? Tell you what.... let's not play "what if" and just get on with enjoying all of the wonderful people with Down syndrome. Huzzah!

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