This morning as I was feeding Ellie her breakfast I noticed a little tooth poking out of her gums. I’ve been waiting a while for this tooth. I suspected teething many months ago, around 6 months when Mya got her first tooth, but our doctor nodded and disagreed, explaining that generally kids with Down Syndrome get teeth closer to their first birthday. And as Ellie’s need to bite everything and the amount of drool on her shirts increased, I again suspected teeth. But just as I had resolved that the teeth will arrive when they’re ready, that teething symptoms may just be baby symptoms, I noticed a tooth, less than two weeks prior to her first birthday. I don’t know how quickly others will arrive but I’m sort of excited for a toothy grin.
It’s an interesting journey learning the pieces of life through Ellie. How is it that because Ellie has an extra chromosome she gets teeth later than typical kids? It makes me look differently at the human body, more like pieces of a puzzle, all fitting together. How these pieces fit together can make slight alterations to who we are. It makes me look at how we do things, taking apart the smallest task like picking up a wooden block and banging it against the wall. How the fingers need to meet together at the perfect distance apart to grasp the block, the strength needed to hold the block in that exact finger placement, lifting your arm while still grasping, seeing the wall and moving the block towards the wall with enough power to make a noise yet gentle enough to allow the block to stay within your fingers. The puzzle of life and our bodies has been magnified these days. Seeing how a tiny alteration has affected Ellie makes me see how inaccurate the word normal truly is. The pieces of our bodies and minds are all unique. A tooth arrives when your specific body dictates, a block falls to the ground when your fingers let go. I’m so thankful for the infinite ways a puzzle can fit together, making the journey to the end result much more beautiful.