Let me start with my husband. A few months back, I casually suggested that letting Tera and her friends use our crawl space as a play area could be kind of cool. To clarify, our crawlspace is not your average crawlspace. For one, it covers the entire area of our living room and kitchen so it's pretty big. Also, the owners before us put in plywood flooring and lighting throughout the whole area so it's actually kind of nice. Anyway, Tom took that idea and let his imagination run and has now started construction on what will be Tera's very own Bat Cave. The area is about 35 square feet, has it's own floor, drywall to separate it from the rest of the space down there, will have it's own lighting, and currently has a 31" Batman figure taking up residence in an "alcove" on the back wall. And it's not done yet. He is planning on mounting our old laptops on the walls; various knobs, buttons, and "controls"; hooks with her own capes hanging on them, vinyl decals with Batman logos, and possibly a Batman bean bag chair.
What I find really entertaining is that he keeps stopping along the way and asking me if he's crazy for doing all this. Crazy? Maybe a little, but it's also one of the coolest things a dad can do for his kid (and it's even funnier when it's for a daughter). He's already spent hours working on this project, and it's something he's really excited about.
I love that he's excited about it, I love that he's doing it for Tera, and I love that she's already excited about it too. Among the words in her limited vocabulary is an approximation for Batman. This afternoon when she woke up from her nap, Tom had finally gotten the area to a point of her being able to go in safely. Since we first showed her the space this afternoon, she has asked repeatedly to go see "Batman" (who she loves to give kisses and hugs to).
And that is just one of the many, many reasons why I love my husband and one of the many reasons why he is such an amazing dad.
Now, Tera amazes me all the time with what she is able to do and how she affects people. She is quite a magnet for people and I won't lie when I say I constantly question if it's because she has Down Syndrome. For the most part, I don't really care why people are drawn to her or how it is she can make a string of strangers smile at her while she waves to them. She can work a room and leave people talking about that little girl that never stopped moving and waving. And if they happen to tell someone else that they had the incredible opportunity to interact with an adorable little girl who happens to have Down Syndrome, why should that bother me? I have watched people walk through a store without cracking a smile once; until Tera reaches out and waves enthusiastically and maybe even blows a kiss to them and then watch as they all of a sudden break out in a smile. I have referred to her as a DS ambassador at many different events, and I hope that I can continue to see that as a positive thing.
I'm still working on my feelings about various topics relating to DS. I'm still getting used to people identifying Tera as having DS. I still don't know if it bothers me that people can see it, or if I know that because she's so damn adorable people can't help but look at her. On good days I'm positive about it, and on bad days I remind myself that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. And everyday, I know that she's one of the few kids anywhere that will have her own Bat Cave very soon.