I love that baby stage, I do. I love naps on chests and swaddling, and baby mouths and tiny fingers, and putting them on your bed without fear of a catastrophe. What I don’t love is waking up in the middle of the night and then again two hours later and then again and again and again. What I love, even more than tiny babies, are when I start to see personalities form, when these little babies, who lived in tummies and use to be amazed by their own hand for hours, start to show little pieces of their futures, who show a little of you and a little of their dad and a lot of them, just them. Ellie is reaching this phase. The phase where at one moment she is tiny baby needing hugs and help, while in another moment she is stubborn and strong and dancing and looking at me with eyes that don’t belong to a baby, but a person. It is amazing and funny and magical. Ellie, we have recently discovered, loves to dance. When music starts playing she gets as close as possible to the source of this music and immediately starts dancing. Sometimes I find myself separating Ellie’s individual personality and unfairly stereotyping her. I have heard that people with Down Syndrome love dancing, and I don’t know if it’s fair for me to assume this love for musicality is part of her extra chromosome. For now, certain qualities such as good natured, loving, and strong, I will attribute to both her personality and her diagnosis. Because that extra chromosome is part of her personality and who she is. And I have learned during my time with Ellie that there is magic in that extra chromosome. Some other pieces of Ellie’s personality, she is always moving, she is curious and into everything, she loves toys that make music, she loves the wind blowing through her hair, she could climb stairs all day, when we sing songs she dances and she sings, she loves veggie sticks and wouldn’t survive without me buying them in bulk, she is funny, she is so funny, she idolizes her sister, she tries to play catch with our dog, she is a shining star in every room she enters, and those traits are attributed to all of her chromosomes, not just, but including, the 21st. I do love this age, but then again, I love every age.
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