Solid Gold

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Charlie participated in his first Special Olympics event today.  He is part of the regular kindergarten class at our neighborhood school but spends some time in the contained classroom.  Today our local Special Olympics put on a basketball tournament during the school day for kindergarten – high school aged students.  I pulled Henry out of school and along with William and Caroline we had our own little cheering section.

While I could tell Charlie was a bit overwhelmed by all of the action he did wonderful!  It was so heartwarming to see him interact with his peers and give it his all.

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His moment of glory.  Charlie was passed the ball and knowing the goal of the game – to score obviously – he ran that ball {carrying it of course} down the length of the court and tossed it up somewhat close to the hoop.  You’d have thought he scored the game-winning shot based on his reaction.  Arms raised up, face all smiley and crinkly he raced right into the arms of his teacher.

Charlie.  You, kiddo are the jam to my sandwich.  I love you!

God must have known that we needed a bit of sunshine this week.  This certainly did the trick.

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*Today was all about Charlie but I feel like I need to add a little footnote to myself, to that scared new mama with a baby with a scary diagnosis.  I would have been petrified by an event like today.  I would have most likely burst into tears overwhelmed by all of the kids with special needs.  But today?  Today, this mama’s heart was bursting with pride.  I’ll admit I was shocked but there were no tears today, no overwhelming fears.  Nope.  Instead I was living in the present, soaking up the moment.  Taking in a gym bursting with high school kids cheering the athletes on and all of the teachers, parents and volunteers who made it all happen.  And of course my sweet four kiddos, three in the cheering section and one amazing athlete.

**OK, I guess this would be a footnote to my footnote.  I’ve been debating about making our blog private partly because I don’t post consistently and partly because it’s easy to get weirded out about the whole “our life is on the internet thing.”  But I haven’t.  Because if there is any chance that I can give hope to new family who has received what feels like a scary diagnosis then it’s all worth it.  Put simply, I’d tell them that yes, while it might seem overwhelming, please don’t be scared.  This life is a beautiful and wild ride.  Our family and our love is deep and messy and real, but it is built on the cross.  And honestly, I think that’s better than any sort of vanilla life they are trying to sell us these days.

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9 thoughts on “Solid Gold

  1. Hi Libby, I do understand about privacy and fears about sharing. I have to say – I found your blog shortly after the birth of my third son, Alex, who has Down syndrome. I did no testing during my pregnancy. I was so excited to have another baby after trying for so long, and I put my faith in God that it would all work out. And It did! Alex (who is now 5) is more than we could ever have asked for. He means everything to us…

    But reading your story did help me along. Those first few weeks were very overwhelming. Seeing that other people were happy and just went about living their lives made it easier for me to accept as well. Thank you for sharing your story with the rest of us. Regardless of what you decide to do – you have helped many of us along the way.

    And way to go Charlie! You are AMAZING!

    Many thanks!
    Margaret K.

    • Margaret – Thank you for the reminder. I thought I would never forget those early days, but seven years out they seem a million miles away. I’m so thankful to have come so far, but yes, it was so lonely and isolating at first. Discovering the blogs of other families who were walking this journey too no doubt gave me more hope and encouragement than any other resource out there. Thank you for the encouragement.

  2. Libby, I’m so glad that you haven’t made this blog private. And I really hope that you don’t in the future. My daughter with down syndrome is eight, and she is the fourth of five children. Every now and then one of my acquaintances or friends will call me up and asked me if they can have somebody who just got the diagnosis of Down’s call me. I always happily oblige. But one of the number one things I do is refer them to your blog. It really is such a perfect example of how life with a child with down syndrome is just a normal life. It also relays that we all have the same fears and bad days and joyful days… I remember the early days of wondering,” How could we ever do anything the same way ever again.?How could we ever going vacation? What will people think of us?” Etc., etc, etc. Your willingness to put your life on the Internet undoubtedly helps calm fears, and helps new parents realize life goes on, life is hectic, life is messy, and ultimately life is normal. Life with or without a child with Down syndrome is beautiful.

    • Merry – Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. You’re right, I think one of the best messages we can give as a family raising a child with Down syndrome, is that well, we’re just a family. Just like every other family. Of course each family has it’s differences and challenges, but even then life goes on. Vacations, birthday celebrations, and a million other little moments and all.

  3. Oh my goodness!!! I am so excited every time your post! I feel the same way about blogging sometimes—making things so public for various reasons, so I understand. But, personally, I hope you don’t decide to make it private, so others can find your faith and family as well! And, you know, in the midst of all of your crazy, I think you should post more too! ;) Just saying!
    Love!!! :) Your fan and friend down South

  4. Libby, this is the first time in awhile that I’ve checked your blog, but I so love reading about Charlie’s accomplishments. My son, JEB, who is now 15 has Down Syndrome. I know all about the insecurities and fears. Been there, done that. As a teenager, there are so many more things that can add to those fears, but JEB is doing just wonderful, and I know that GOD has him covered. That’s all that matters. He is speaking pretty well, loves school and his teachers and his therapists. He is growing up to be quite the young man. I turn anyone who is new to this extra chromosome journey to your blog, because you have an amazing view on it all. Thanks for being a voice to our little ones.

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