Because we were gone all day yesterday, I had a lot to get done today. I still didn't make it through everything, but I'm very proud of myself for postponing some things from my list that weren't "crucial" and instead was able to go to the park with my little family. I took Tera once or twice last summer, but just to meet up with her BFF and mostly to watch her BFF's big brother play since the girls were only a couple months old. Today she was finally able to do stuff. She got to ride on the swing and go down the slide and I think she really enjoyed it. Then we walked home, picked up the dog and took her for a walk and the whole time she just sat right up in her stroller watching everything around her. It must have been quite the experience because when we got home she went down for an almost two hour nap.
But this isn't really what my post is about. This morning, as I sat on the couch in our living room giving her a bottle and seeing how beautiful it was outside, I was taken back to last spring. I thought about all the times I had sat in that very spot feeding her and relishing in my new daughter. I remember sitting in that spot and breaking down into tears for fear of the unknown. I remember reading a beautiful book called "Gifts" given to me by an incredibly thoughtful and wonderful person and smiling at the encouraging parts, and crying at the parts that I hadn't thought of yet. I very vividly recall coming to the realization that Tera more than likely won't have kids of her own and just bawling because I was home by myself with her and couldn't talk to anyone at that moment. But mostly I just remember how completely in love with her I was and how amazing it was to hold her in my arms and feed her and watch her sleep. I also thought about the fact that I was home with her that whole time and how much I miss that. Even with a second baby, I'm not sure I'll be able to swing another six month leave and I'm so grateful for every minute that I had of that with her.
And as I sat there today with her, remembering all of that, I thought briefly about how much I miss some of it. But then I started thinking about how much I'm looking forward to this summer with her. Not just the time off, though it's hard not to think about that daily, but more about all the stuff that we'll be able to do with her this summer now that she's older. And today at the park was a perfect example of that. We did take her swimming a few times last summer, but she was really too little to do much. Now we know she loves the water and it will be so much more fun to take her to the beach and the pool. We can take her outside in the backyard and do stuff with her, assuming she walks at some point, but even if she's not there yet, she can just be outside more than she could at four or five months old. We started talking a little bit about a family vacation and it made me realize how I'll be able to enjoy this summer just as much, just in different ways. I've said this before, but it's one of the best pieces of advice still that I've received: I just need to enjoy the present and what it has to offer, and not worry about when she'll get to the next step or the next milestone. She's shown us numerous times she will do it, it just may be a little later than expected. Although in her case, so far, not that much later than expected...
Fact for today:
A few of the common physical traits of Down syndrome are low muscle tone, small palm, but these are not indicative of the many strengths and talents that each individual possesses!