What's the Big Deal?
Almost a year ago, I became friends with someone on facebook. This person has a 3 year old child with Down syndrome. In our facebooking conversations, she said to me something that I have not forgotten. She wrote, " A year from now, you won't know what the big deal is." I thought that statement was, well, a bit crazy. How could it not be a big deal that my daughter has Down syndrome, that she will be different, that she will have delays, that she will not communicate when others are, that she cannot become a doctor, and so on.
But I can tell you, exactly a year later, I don't see what the big deal is anymore. Sure, there may be brief moments of fear, mostly fear that I'm not doing enough, or a tinge of anxiety of the unknown. But those are the exception and far from the rule of love, happiness, and peace for whatever the future may hold.
I've heard mothers talk about when their child leaves for college, and they have to let go. They have to step back and let them choose their own path. In a way, that's kind of what I have had to do this past year. I had to let go of whatever expectations I had. I have had to step back and let Kamdyn be who she is. I could sit around and mourn over the path that she must take, but it will not change anything, and I would miss all of the good things along the way. And I want to be present for them all.
When I learned that Kamdyn has Down syndrome, I counted her out. It's hard for me to say that, but I did. I'm her mother, the one who should be there no matter what, and I counted her out. All I could see were can't and wont's. I was so sad that she wouldn't be like me, but why does she have to be like me?
I don't believe that God gave Kamdyn to us, because I am strong, or because I am special. If those deepest, darkest thoughts in the recesses of mind had spilled out during those first few weeks of Kamdyn's life, no one would ever say that to me again. I'm not special, but Kamdyn is. And I found strength, because I needed it, and I begged God for it. While those thoughts of my heart still haunt me and pierce my heart when I think of them, they have also fueled me. They have fueled me to stand up and tell the world not to count her out. And I know with all of my heart, that she will rise to the challenge.
Happy Birthday, Kamdyn. You're changing the world one heart at a time, but mine was first.
There is not a journey that I would rather take. You're fight is my fight. I'll never count you out again, because you taught me better than that.