The Lazy? Days of Summer

>> Friday, May 30, 2008

I finished teaching my May Term class today and of course, ended up with a cold. Oh well. So, I tried to sleep a bit of it off, then got up and prepared for a nice, lazy day enjoying my kids. But, of course, before I could enjoy the day, the was laundry to do, and floors to sweep, lunch to make, and pictures to dust. And, now it is dinner time, and Jonah has a baseball game.

What happened to the lazy days of summer? They will start tomorrow. I will ignore my slightly messy home, and the pile of papers that need to be filed. I will ignore the dust bunnies under my couch, and the spider webs in the garage. I will ignore the bathtubs that need to be scrubbed, and the grout that needs to be bleached.

But, I won't ignore the kids! We will go biking, or take a trip to the Vulcan Statue. We will make snowcones or play on the slip-n-slide. We will take a picnic to the park, or make paper airplanes. But, tomorrow, my house and work can take a break.

I will have fun. They will have fun. The housework can wait!


Madeline and the Petting Farm

>> Saturday, May 24, 2008

So, after months of talking about her birthday, Maren's party finally arrived. We were so busy having fun, I forgot to take a lot of pictures. Oh well...the fun was more than worth it!

The highlight of the day was when the woman who runs the farm mispronounced Maren's name, and Layne immediate piped in it M-A-R-E-N, Maren! I cracked up! And, now, we have even more playdates dates for this summer. I'm going to have to make some of them here or I will never see my daughter!


Worse than shots....

>> Friday, May 23, 2008

Ever since Jonah was born 9 1/2 years ago, my husband Jon and I have had a deal. Deal is -- I don't do immunizations or blood draws with the kids. Seriously. If it involves blood, Jon takes the kids to the appointments, and so it has been for each child.

Well, what Jon doesn't know, is he saved me from a pain worse than shots today. I woke-up with a migraine that had me very, very ill (thank goodness for meds!). But, this afternoon, I'm feeling better. Regardless, I just couldn't go to Holy Spirit today. Why?

Well, today is Maren's last day in Kindergarten and I'm just heartbroken. I thought the first day of Kindy was sad, but my heart is aching. Maren is leaving Mrs. Davis and Mrs. Mitchell and moving up to first grade. Ouch...that hurt just to write. It's worse than the kids getting shots--it's the pain that no what I do, my babies will continue to grow despite me, LOL.

So, like with the shots, I'm not going, and somehow, in not being there, it hurts just a little bit less. Of course, tonight or tomorrow or the next day, I'll have to rip that darned band-aid off.


Dance recital fun!~

>> Sunday, May 18, 2008

And, the pic is of Maren and her friend Audrey.


7 years ago today

>> Friday, May 16, 2008

On May 16, 2001, the doctors tentatively put Maren in my arms. They weren't sure how we would react to their news, that Maren appeared to have indications of Trisomy 21. For those of you who know our story, it wasn't a big deal. And, today, seven years later, we realize how "not a big deal" it really is for our family and in Maren's life.

Maren is finishing up Kindy as decidedly one of the most popular girls in her class. She isn't loved because of her extra chromosome. She isn't blessed with wonderful friends in spite of her extra chromosome. Brady doesn't want to hang out with Maren to make himself feel better about doing charity work. And, Drew certainly doesn't think about Maren's extra genetic material when they sit next to each other at lunch and giggle. Layne wasn't concerned about Maren's cells as they laughed non-stop through Horton Hears a Who last weekend at the theater, and Gracie could care less about Down syndrome when she begs her mom to spend the night at our house. Tatum wasn't wondering about T21 as she whispered in a rather concerned voice that she hadn't picked out a great present for Maren yet.

As I walked Maren into school today, the kids started spontaneously RSVPing to Maren's birthday party next weekend, and they were so excited. You see, Maren just radiates Maren-ness. Extra chromosome or not, Maren just has that special something, the X-factor, charisma, whatever you want to call it. She didn't get it from Jon, and she certainly didn't get it from me! Maren just has this quality --- it is amazing.

And, rewind seven years, I wish I could have told those doctors this: " I am not fearful of Down syndrome. In 7 years, Maren will graduate from Kindergarten as a full-participant in her class. She will be having her 4th dance recital. She will have good friends who truly love her. And, most importantly, she will love herself and her life."

Maybe then, I could have made them feel better about what they were trying to "warn" me about.

Maren (not a great photo of her, LOL), with her friends Layne and Tatum


I flicked her back...

>> Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Maren has a wonderful group of friends at school and dance, and, like all girls, some she doesn't quite click with some days.

One of the first families we met when we moved to Tuscaloosa has four children. The oldest has T21 like Maren and is on the cheerleading squad at Holy Spirit Middle School. You can see Hayley's story in our local paper The third child, Max, and my oldest Jonah, were fast friends in Kindy. Max has a heart of gold and is one of the best kids you will ever meet, smart, funny, caring, and the list goes on.

The youngest Bassett child is Brooke. She's a hoot and a half: athletic, smart and stunningly beautiful. She and Maren were friends at Rise in the 2, 3, and 4 year old rooms, and Brooke left for the Holy Spirit Preschool a year early. But, this year they were reunited in Kindy.

So, of course, I assumed that Maren and Brooke would continue to be good friends. And, they are. Better than I realized, I think. Today, Maren came home and told me Brooke "flicked" her "like this" and Maren flicked her own head to show me what Brooke had done. I instantly asked, "Maren, what did you do?"

"I flicked her back and told her she was a mean girl." Bwahhhhh, my princess doesn't take it from Archie, and she certainly won't take it from Brooke. But, more importantly, Brooke clearly doesn't treat Maren as "special" or "different" anymore than she treats Hayley as different. Brooke treats Maren like a sister, and Maren responds in kind.

Life is a weird way, eh?


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