Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Everything happens for a reason
I feel like I've lived an almost charmed life. Oh, I've had hardships to overcome and challenges to tackle. But I've always managed to have a semblance of control over the situation. You see, every time I had hit a rough patch in my life, I was able to make a change or find a way to negotiate through the experience. My entry into teaching was pretty bumpy with a spectacularly failed attempt at teaching grade 3. It was so bad that I quit my job, left my home town and moved halfway across the country to live in a hippy haven for 18 months. I'll never teach elementary school again, and to this day still have nightmares about teaching kindergarten. But I was able to find a way to make sense of the situtation and to use it it to make a change that I could live with.
When Phoenix was born with DS, I was at a total loss. I couldn't change it. I couldn't give her back (and believe me, I wanted to) and I couldn't make the DS go away. Because as we all know, you can't pull chromosomes out of people.
And I definitely could not come to terms that this had happened for a reason.
Everything happens for a reason. I hate this phrase. I hate it. I used to believe it. I used to think that I could draw meaning from or to each event in my life. I went round and round trying to find meaning where none was to be found. Why was my child born with DS? It didn't make sense. This wasn't supposed to happen to me.
I think everyone finds their own answers to these questions and this is the only thing I could come up with:
Sometimes things happen and there is no meaning to it. Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes cells fail to split properly, and sometimes this results in an extra copy of the 21st chromosome. And all of these 'sometimes' happened to me and to Phoenix.
It just happened and it doesn't mean anything. There is no moral. It just is.
I've also come to realize that my life hasn't really been charmed. I just view it that way. I look back at the challenges and can see that they were valuable opportunities to grow as a person. Even my failed attempt at teaching elementary school helped me to see that I really wanted to teach older students. So when I was finally ready to try my hand at teaching again I landed a job within the family of schools I currently teach in and found my niche working with troubled teens. I have grown tremendously as a person within these past 7 years teaching behavioural teens. But I have grown more in the last 2. And that is because of Phoenix and because of Down syndrome.
Phoenix wasn't supposed to have Down syndrome. It didn't happen for a reason. But it did happen and we are living with it. Happily, I might add.