Greatest Joys and Greatest Fears
Life has been a little tough for me to sort through lately. One minute I'm happy, the next I am crying my eyes out.
As my first born hits three, I am filled with so much excitement for him. He is learning so many new things every day, and he will start to be allowed to participate in more things now that he is three. He is counting down the days until he starts hockey! It's challenging at times, but most days with Eli are filled with laughter and hope for all of his possibilities.
As my baby approaches one, I am nearly paralyzed with fear. I see how quickly we got to one year old. I blinked, and we are here. All of those problems that I know are coming for Henry seemed so far off. Now, we they seem on the horizon. Problems like not hitting his gross motor or speech milestones. Problems like surgeries and procedures. Problems like putting him on a bus, sending him to school, and trusting that the people there are taking care of him, knowing that he won't have the words to tell me yet if they are not. The older he gets, the more "behind" he will fall. This petrifies me.
I am so torn between being realistic about Henry's future and being optimistic about his potential. Ten months in to this journey, and I still have so many things to sort through in my mind. How do I remain hopeful? How do I balance the high expectations I have of him, and the reality that Down syndrome can make so many things more difficult for him? How do I push him to become the best he can possibly be, but still be understanding of the fact that in some ways, the deck is stacked against him? How do I toe this line without driving myself absolutely insane?
I honestly don't know the answers to these questions. I struggle with them every day. Henry has given me some of my greatest joys, and has made me realize some of my greatest fears. I suppose that all of this will serve to make me an even stronger person, but some times, I just want to cry because I am so scared.
Maybe some day I will look back on these thoughts and laugh. Maybe I will wish I could go back in time and tell myself that I was worried about nothing. But until then, I worry. And I cry. And I stand in awe of every single other parent who has done this day in and day out before me, and made it through to the other side.
In the mean time, I take a deep breath, listen to his sweet breathing while he sleeps, and try like hell to hold on to these moments before they are gone.