Friday, 8 May 2015

Mothers Day

Mothers Day is coming this Sunday and I get to spend the day with my precious children.

In fact, today marks 2 years to the day that we went to the fertility clinic to attempt our 3rd iui in the hopes of having another baby and a sibling for Phoenix. It the day we conceived our triplets of whom 2 survived.

I'm reminded, because today was also the day that we met our friend and brilliant photographer Lisa Pedersen at a local park to take pictures of Phoenix and of us together. It was a magical day, for many reasons.

First, I got to showcase Phoenix with the beauty I saw in her every day.

This is important to me, that others can see beyond her little bald head, and almond shaped eyes, and small ears and her slender little frame, and see Phoenix, not Down syndrome.

Because Phoenix is a loving child who makes my life better, and richer, every single day. Down syndrome is a word full of connotations, negative assumptions, fear and pity.

Because this child has beauty that radiates from within. 
A beauty that is tender, and gracious. 
A beauty that is all her own.

This child, this child is not fear and she is not pity. She has a heart and soul, and hopes and dreams. This child wants to be the special helper at school every day. She loves to greet her friends and to get in trouble with the boys in her class for giggling and being off topic.

This child likes to pick up and hoard all of her favourite toys so that her sisters cannot play with them - but fails, because a 5 year old can hold only so many toys in her hands at once.

This child is our pride and joy and makes our hearts soar.

Sometimes I wonder how full a heart can be. As it happens, it is three children full for me.

Even with her sisters, whom also have firm places in my heart, the love is not quite as fierce for them. It is joyful, there is no question of that; but it is not as protective. 

These children do not have quite as many challenges which will lay before them which will shape their experience of being in the world. They will not be judged in the same way that Phoenix will be. 

And even though people may see twin before they see Ash and Wren, there are not the same negative thoughts, feelings and perceptions about twin as there are about Down syndrome. 

Ash and Wren will be judged and classified. We all are. Mother, wife, woman, Canadian, brunette. But the classifications placed on them will not bar  them from jobs, or schools, or the opportunity to join their peers in community activities because they aren't the right fit or they'll need too much support or we don't have the funding/experience/qualifications to accept your child

Ash and Wren will have a completely different experience of being in the world. There will be challenges and hardships for them too. Of this there is no doubt, but my strong feeling is that their lives will be easier.

Which is why I can acknowledge the difference in how I love them - because in the end they will need me for different reasons. 

Phoenix will need me to be more fierce, to stand taller, to speak louder; to be her advocate, to be her voice, to help her meet her needs. 

All of this I do willingly, freely, of my whole heart - because at the end of it all, I get to be a mother. Certainly not in the way I had pictured, or hoped for, but in a way that is mine. 

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