>> 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