As I browse the blogs related to Down syndrome lately, I find that a recently aired documentary has caused some stir. I did not see it, although I received a text alerting me to it right before I walked out the door that night. I would like to see it though, despite what I have read.
What seems to have bothered some parents is that the future is not what they thought it would be for individuals with Down syndrome. It’s harder. And if they had come to a place of peace about the diagnosis, this film made them go back to wondering about the future. And about lots of things.
I remember early on when our son was just born and given the diagnosis of Down syndrome how my whole world seemed to be swirling. So many emotions, so much new information, so much uncertainty about the future. It swirled for months. I could not wait for life to settle down. Slowly, over time, settle it did. We developed our ability to cope with what we knew and pray about what we didn’t. Somehow, having a surprise like Down syndrome come into our lives taught me that I am not in control of what happens, nor of the future.
We developed our “new normal”. Our lives were different than we thought, but it finally became normal for us. This reminds me that at each stage we are thrilled and proud of what our child can do.
From the trailor it seems that the young adults in the documentary have lots of abilities and their parents are proud of them, while realizing there is still much room for growth. Each of our children is an individual with strengths that we applaud and appreciate now. That same child has weaknesses that are part of who they are and in which we encourage growth. They will have weaknesses in the future. We will also applaud them in the future. Support will be necessary. Looking ahead helps us prepare them for those challenges.
When we get there, that will be our new normal. It will seem no more scary than today. The past, made up of answered prayers, has taught me not to be afraid.