Friday, 2 October 2015

Me and Down syndrome

Me and Down syndrome are not friends. All my life, I didn't want to hang out, I didn't want to spend time with DS and I certainly did not want a child with DS.

I grew up looking at children and adults with DS and thought "I never want a child like that. It's hard enough to make your way in the world, let alone having a disability like DS to hold you back. I would definitely terminate a pregnancy if I knew the child would have DS."


Here I am, raising a child with DS and writing about what my life is like. Spending my precious free time on breaks and lunches thinking about DS, reflecting on my experience with DS, and highlighting the accomplishments of my child with DS. As Alanis Morissette says: "And isn't it ironic, don't you think?"

It IS ironic. My best friend thinks it is divine intervention. That the only reason that DS was even on my radar was that I was always destined to have a child with DS. That pissed me off at the time she said it. If there is a God out there, then she has a terrible sense of humour, because I was the least likely person I know to be able to accept the presence of DS in my life.

Except here we are.
I didn't want DS. I didn't ask for DS, and when I got DS I was really, really angry. Angry doesn't even really encompass the fullness of my devastation. Not me. Not my child. No. No. No.
Except here we are.

I am fine. I am more than fine. I have more or less the life I wanted. I have the family I wanted. And I get to witness and participate in raising an amazing little girl who has Down syndrome and 2 more amazing little girls who don't, yet who are extraordinary in their own way too. 

It's ironic, don't you think?

I'm still not friends with DS. I still could do without it. But it is my travelling companion. A companion I have made peace with and who will accompany us through out the rest of our lives. 

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