It has been a long journey for me this year.
When Parker was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome on January 15th, 11 months ago, my first thoughts were of my loss.
Not being able to work.
Looking after a disabled child as a single mother of two.
Dealing with his many health issues and his drastically shortened lifespan.
My life was over as I knew it.
When the doctor said those words to me as I still lay in the delivery room where I had just met my son, my entire existence literally spun on its head and clicked into a new one.
I have never since returned to my previous oblivious, comfortable existence. The existence where 'those things happen to OTHER families.' Where a 'life changing' event just meant a new job or school.
My life, as I knew it, IS over.
And I couldn't be happier.
I have a supportive workplace who encourage me to reach my goals.
I kick butt at raising my two beautiful children.
I had no idea how many true friends I really had, until I started asking for their help when I needed it. Now and in the future, I continue to be amazed by people's generosity, love and understanding, as they give me their time and support.
Parker's health issues are quickly dealt with by excellent medical teams, and I have learnt valuable life skills around dealing with medical professionals.
And Parker's life span? I know a lot of people with Down syndrome happily grooving their way into their 60's and 70's and beyond. Now the medical profession finally proactively deals with and treats every condition possible in people with Down syndrome, funnily enough, their quality of life on the whole has improved beyond measure.
The fact remains, no one knows how long their child will be on this earth. This was was proven over and over to me this year, with friends spending this Christmas with their angels from this year and past. Parker himself is a rainbow baby- even his avatar on this page with a tree, rainbow, and butterflies with colours of Down syndrome, represents loss, love and new life. I wear angel wings around my neck to remember my babies who weren't as lucky as Parker.
But I can tell you this, from a mama to her cub; my son will live and love every minute of his life, and the next time yet another mama thinks of me with pity in her eyes, I will smile gently and forgive her for what she does not yet understand.
When I look into my son's eyes, I can see what they do not; when I see my little boy, there is a pure untouched gem in his innocent little soul.
Sometimes it is much harder work than other times.
But every single time I look in those eyes, and receive one of his beautiful smiles that eclipses his entire face, I feel that kind of love that can start wars.
So on Christmas morning, Parker and I woke up early together and snuck to the the tree to open a few presents. I got to sit quietly and bask in his pure joy of unwrapping and surprises.
I realized how close to the mark I have gotten from where I aimed.
My life may have changed, but my life goals have not. I just want to be happy, make my friends smile and laugh, and raise my children to their full potential, to be good and responsible little souls.
I hope by following Parker's blog and page, I have managed to give you a glimpse of our life, and what it is really like to have a child with Down syndrome, with all it's ups and downs. (Pun intentional.)
I'd love you to share this post with your friends for Christmas.
Love Parker's Momma.