There is something about the first minutes, hours, even days after receiving a diagnosis for your child that makes you feel immensely alone. Even with your shell-shocked husband and half a dozen family members standing beside you. For me, it was this fear that I would never again feel “normal.” That all the play dates and dinners and outings I had envisioned for Lila’s first years somehow wouldn’t happen because she has Down Syndrome. It sounds silly now, but you never know how you will feel when your world gets turned upside down. I thought that our little family would be on this journey alone.
(A little background music :))
Boy, was I wrong.
This was our third night in the hospital. Karen, Tiff, and Erin came to visit and we walked Lila through the hallways on the rolling bassinet they make you push when you want to take your newborn out of your hospital room. We talked about all of our kids meeting for the first time, how often they would play together. It was the first glimpse I got into how many people would love our little girl almost as much as we did. Without any obligation… just because they wanted to.
Right away I learned that little Lila’s “fan base” was growing by the minute. Best friends came from far away to meet Miss Lila.
And those who haven’t met her yet, celebrate her victories with just as much excitement as we do.
She had her first “play date.”
She visited Mommy’s friends at work.
Some of our best friends started to kick US out of the house, so they could hang out with her (and we could go see a movie :))
It’s amazing the feeling a Mother gets when she sees someone hold her child, and love her almost like their own.
“Normal” is a complicated word. And though it may mean conforming to a standard, there’s no one definition. Each family creates their own normal. I think that, at first, I was so scared our normal would be so different from everyone else’s. What I’ve learned is that, because of all the people who love my Lila just the way she is, her life will be so much more than the typical we so craved the first time we learned she has Down Syndrome. How can it not with best friends like all of this?