Fresh off our family vacation to Disney World, I’m on that high that comes with vacationing and visiting the most “magical” place on earth. So with that in mind, and on the 1 year anniversary of Kelsi’s Corner…
Once upon a time I set out on a mission- a mission to prove that you could have a very “normal” life by our general society’s standard while raising a child with Down syndrome. I wanted to show that Down syndrome was a small part of our lives. To show through day-to-day living that it doesn’t make up who I am as a mom, who Kelsi is as an individual, or who we are as a family.
I wholeheartedly still believe that is true. As I approach the year anniversary of my blog and reflect on it, what amazes me is that in my efforts to prove my point I’ve been forced to do exactly the opposite. My original plan was to show that I could go about my daily life as it was before, never focusing on Kelsi having Down syndrome and never really giving light to it in any way. I thought that by launching Kelsi’s Corner I would put this plan into motion. Only a year later does the irony of my efforts occur to me.
It’s amazing how sometimes the very things we do NOT want to define us in life end up being the cornerstone of our definition. Rather than going quietly about my life and just showing those around me that you can function in everyday life just as everyone else does- WITH a child with Down syndrome, I’ve had to shout it from the mountain tops. I’ve exclaimed with loud exclamation points to my family and friends, facebook friends, high school acquaintances, strangers, women I’ve never met- LOUD AND PROUD that I HAVE A CHILD WITH DOWN SYNDROME! The one thing I didn’t want, to be put in a Down syndrome box, is the very box I ended up creating.
I also hoped to save one life, just one, and it would all be worth it. I’ve realized I may never really know if this happens, and my heart breaks when it doesn’t. Instead, my mission has shifted. I hope one by one to help change a person’s perception, to give comfort to a woman in pain post-diagnosis, to ease one family’s anxiety while waiting for tests results, and to show someone who has already passed judgment just how wonderful Kelsi is just as she is- extra chromosome and all.
It’s ironic as it is the exact opposite of my “plan,” but sometimes the plan isn’t what you anticipated and there is a greater purpose. I’ve realized that this is a journey, not a destination and I am open to where it takes me.
So one year later, on World Down Syndrome Awareness Day and to my amazement again, here I am shouting it: “My daughter has Down syndrome! It’s okay!!” She’s more like your kids than you realize and my life is very much just like yours. I’ve accepted this path because in my opinion, Down syndrome and all, we are living happily ever after…