2 years ago I became a mother. 2 years ago the world suddenly became a more dangerous place. 2 years ago I learned what Down syndrome meant. 2 years ago I learned who I can be.
2 years ago I met Lily Luet.
Oh Lily Lu, my little Lulu, how you have grown and changed. I should have known that you would be a firecracker, one who not only plays by her own rules but actually designs the game we play. With each passing moment, each new year, you become more of an individual and truer to yourself. This last year, you have learned and discovered so many new things about yourself and about your world.
You can identify your body parts (including your boobies and your butt) I find people’s reaction to this amusing 🙂 This has led you to an awareness of your clothing and your undying determination to help me with every single clothing and diaper change needed. Whether I want the help or not.
You are enthralled with books- you understand how to hold them, turn the pages, you know if they are upside down and you enjoy pointing to everything and even reading some of them to me and your brother, although we have no idea what language you are speaking.
Your hair is longer and I have swept the fine threads of your hair behind your tiny ear so many times that you now return the favor and are quick to move my hair out of my face and tuck it behind my ear. You are so thoughtful.
You have a good sense of cleanliness now. Your bath time is sacred and you secretly wish you could live in the bath tub. You are thrilled to wash your hands and will bulldoze over any obstacle on your path to brush your teeth. You know where your toothbrush lives and you enjoy a bit of flossing too.
You are a master of all things pretend. Your little people and little animals live a very rich and funfilled life. They adventure all over the place and enjoy many directives. You are an excellent mommy and big sister – you insist your babies are properly cared for and believe in nursing and baby wearing.
Anything, and I mean anything can magically change into a telephone. This includes but is not limited to food items, aka the banana phone you made a call on this morning.
You have learned how to solve problems- if your dress interferes with your crawling speed, simply place the hem in your mouth and crawl on.
You have discovered the pleasure of stabbing things with a fork and stirring with a spoon. You have also made it your mission to free all the food from their constrained spaces inside plates and bowls. You are their hero. They celebrate your bravery.
You have learned the value of communication, you sign for more and for elephant. So far you have not asked for both at the same time. You have about 15 words. You talk extensively in your own language but you are trying to teach me how to understand Lily. I am slow and you sometimes get frustrated with me.
You are trying to walk and take some steps now although it is much more pleasing to you to crawl at such high speeds you can out crawl the dog and cat!
You are a couch climbing master and are currently perfecting your craft by attempting more dangerous climbs.
You can draw a mean line. You color like you are divinely inspired but paper is irrelevant to you.
You hug and kiss and even shake hands – you are very social and out going. People are compelled to engage with you when we are out.
You sleep in your big girl bed now. You love your bed. You love getting out of your bed. You are still secretly hoping that your dad and I will be fooled by your fake snoring and leave you alone to your own devices under the guise of sleep. In the morning when you wake you climb out of your bed and shout for daddy while banging on the baby gate that confines you to your room.
You believe the very best way to watch cartoons is standing directly in front of the TV, with your hand down the back of your pant and the tops of your butt cheeks exposed because you believe they need air too.
You have unleashed the power of your index finger and use it to direct us to comply with your list of demands. Your item of choice must be retrieved and placed in the exact location your index finger directs.
You have decided that food is not to be trusted and therefore must be immediately refused. After intense interrogations that include, sniffing, stabbing, swirling and smashing, only the very few are deemed worthy of being eaten. Only the raspberries and sweet potatoes passed inspection for your Thanksgiving dinner.
Lily, my reflections here are unending, as you fill up my life with so many stories, memories, laughs and tears. I am and will always remain proud to be your mother and your guide here on Earth.
December is a beautiful month filled with blessings and magic but there is a darker side to December. As joyous as a birthday celebration is, there is another side to Lily turning two. Her turning two also means an onslaught of doctor appointments, tests and evaluations. December is when we must face Down syndrome head on.
To be continued…..