I have found as the years go by, that keeping up with the 31 for 21 challenge has become a little more difficult because there isn't as much to talk about for us when it comes to Down Syndrome. That's not to say that there ISN'T anything because every day brings something new, but our life feels much like it would for any other family without kids with special needs. In fact, I was just saying tonight at the dinner table as Kailey refused to eat parts of her dinner, whined and cried every so often and then had a full on tantrum when we gave up her ice cream to Colin that she no longer wanted that in some ways, Colin is much easier than our typical child. We have a pretty normal routine on a daily basis that involves school and work, plus we have to fit in time for household chores and other obligations. I would be lying if I said that Down Syndrome doesn't cross my mind on a daily basis because it does, but not in the ways you might think.
When Colin was born, WE were born into a new community of supportive parents and family members that was more than we could have ever anticipated. We have "met" (both in person and through the computer) people, many of which we call friends. Because of this, I get to see the accomplishments of Colin's peers on skills that they have been working really hard on, we celebrate the successes and empathize with the challenges, and we are inspired all of the time by some truly amazing stories about people with Down Syndrome. This community has also been extremely helpful because I have learned different ways of doing things, gotten recommendations and suggestions and have also learned ways of coping for things that have been a bit more difficult at the time.
We face challenges that are unique to Colin BECAUSE of him having Down Syndrome, but we don't make excuses for that either. We believe that he can do anything his typical peers can do so we push him to keep working and keep trying so that he can be successful.
I can honestly tell you without a doubt that if I could go back and change anything about my life with Colin I wouldn't. Chris and I were chosen to be Colin's parents for a very special reason. I can remember my first few days on this journey (when I cried harder than I have ever cried in my life) thinking and trying to understand why it had to be Chris and I to be chosen to be parents for a child with special needs. Four and a half years later, I am so grateful that Colin is a part of all of our lives. He is one very special little boy and we are blessed to be his parents.
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:14