So I haven’t been updating this blog nearly as much as I should, I have been neglecting the internet in a bad way, but I’m thinking that’s a good thing because I’m trying to have as much mama/Thatcher time as I can. I think I spend way too much time tethered to my phone, and now that I’ve (mostly) quit junk food and cut down about 99% of my TV time, I need a break from the interwebs too. It kind of feels like I’m neglecting a friend, but better that than actually be neglecting my child.
I guess what I felt like writing about today is what I am working my way through right now. Thatcher will be six months old next week. It’s huge. I’m in total disbelief that it went by so quickly! It’s terrifying!
But what is really getting me is that Thatcher’s development is really stalling. It seems like since he was born, I have been comparing him to “typical” milestone charts. I know it’s wrong, and that I shouldn’t be comparing him to anyone at all, but I can’t help it. I’m pretty sure all parents do it. How can you not? When I go on Facebook, all I see are parents showboating how “special” their babies are. I legitimately saw a claim last week that someone’s one-month-old could roll from her front to her back, a feat that Thatcher has yet to figure out. And I’m guilty of it too. It’s not that I’m trying to brag, it’s that I’m so thrilled that he is excelling that I want to shout it from the rooftops. I’m so proud.
But lately, I have nothing much to shout, and everyone else is so much louder, and it’s drowning out the celebrations I should be having. I knew from the beginning that Thatcher would be a bit behind in his milestones, but I didn’t really accept it. I told myself it was true, but I watched him surpass expectations and excel, and I told myself it would be like this forever. And I’m realizing that it won’t. Eventually, other kids his age will be crawling, and he might be starting to truly sit unassisted. They might walk, while he starts to crawl. Maybe they will be talking in short sentences while we are still grasping some simple words. And I think it’s going to be hard. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.
And I am insanely proud of everything he does, don’t get me wrong. We are working at unassisted sitting, and he is finally rolling from back to front bilaterally. After two or three months of rolling only one way, I was over the moon when he finally “got” it last week after hours of coaxing and practice. But it’s still hard. It’s still a loss, and maybe it always will be. And it is just leaving me so torn. I feel like a mama’s job is to be fierce and proud and fighting for her babies. She is supposed to think everything they do is perfect (okay, maybe not drawing on the walls or having a tantrum at Loblaw’s, but you get the drill). And I feel so guilty about how I’m feeling. I don’t know why I’m telling y’all this except to get it out there and hope that someone, somewhere has felt the same and it’s not just me. I can’t really even put it into words, exactly what I’m feeling, because it comes out wrong. It’s not disappointment with Thatcher, but rather with that one damn extra chromosome that is affecting our lives. My hope, I guess, at putting this all into words is that some kindred spirit somewhere will find this and read it and understand. And I won’t be alone in my feelings. I love Thatcher so much and I want him to have everything in the world. I want him to be exactly who he wants to be, and it’s heartbreaking to think that some things could be out of the realm of possibilities in the future.
I saw a video posted on Facebook yesterday, about a mama whose daughter was born with DS and she ended up opening a cupcake shop bearing her daughter’s name (http://www.cristinastortinashop.com), and in the video interview she said that the doctors told her they were “sorry” that her daughter would never be a doctor or a lawyer. Her reply was that she didn’t expect any of her kids to be doctors or lawyers, what was so different about her youngest? I get what she was saying and I can respect that, but what if one day Thatcher tells me he wants to be a doctor or a lawyer? What then? I want him to be whatever he wants to be. I hate the idea of telling my beautiful, perfect son that he can’t be who he wants to be.
I guess that’s what’s getting me down. The reality that is hitting me, all over again, is that his life isn’t going to be sunshine and rainbows. There are going to be challenges, and we are going to have to work hard. The great thing, the lucky thing, really, is that he will do all those things other babies do. He will crawl, he will walk, he will run. He will do it on his own time, and I will be fiercely proud of him every day of his life. Some children never get to do these things, so for this I am grateful.
But it still doesn’t make it easy. There are going to be days like today, where I mourn the loss of the ideals I had, so that I can bury them and further appreciate our life as it is going to be. And it is going to be phenomenal, because I have the two best boys in the world to share it with.