Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Lately before I go to bed at night, I read a passage or two from a book called Gifts: Mothers Reflect on How Children with Down Syndrome Enrich Their Lives. It was given to me at the hospital in a bag of resources from DSACK (the Down Syndrome Association of Central Kentucky). I remember the feeling of denial I had when a social worker at the hospital handed me that tote bag. When we got home from the hospital, I hung the bag near my desk. Some days I would turn it around so only the blank side showed. I didn't even want to look at the words "Down Syndrome." I also remember opening this book on the way to one of Levi's doctor appointments before we got the final word on his chromosome test. I had to put it down because I started bawling. I just wasn't sure I was ready to go down this road, and we were still waiting to find out if Levi had DS or not.

Now I am friends with some of the moms in DSACK and met one of the awesome women who put that tote bag and its resources together for me. I am LOVING this book and really enjoy each mother's words of hope. It is funny how proud I am to be in the world of special needs just a few weeks after all those tears. I feel like I am part of a secret club that only certain people are invited to. That others without a child like Levi may not ever understand. One of the stories last night was an analogy that a mother made about being thrown in to the deep end of a swimming pool. She was frighted, couldn't swim and was choking and sputtering at first. Then she started treading water and slowly realized that she wouldn't drown. Finally she found that in the deep end she could dive and do somersaults, things that can't be done in the shallow end, and she said to others, "You don't know what you're missing, here in the deep end."