Monday, December 22, 2008

In Their Own Words: Cristina's Perspective

When Chrystal asked for guest bloggers, I started my blog right away. Her blogs entertain me daily, so why not give her a day off. Unfortunately this has been sitting as a "draft" in my e-mail for quite sometime now. But as they say.....better late then never.....

A quick history of me and Chrystal.....Chrystal and I met in college, we were both there keeping a family tradition alive. We ended up in the DC area after graduation. Because of this, we've seen each other through a lot over those 9 years (jobs, marriages, and babies).

I like to think I've known Malea pretty much from conception. I recall getting the news out of Chrystal earlier then she had planned on telling people. This wasn't on purpose, we were having lunch and I just couldn't stop blabbing about children and being a new mini-van mom (something I swore I'd never be) and how she'd be one someday too (I'm still waiting for her to join this exclusive club). She had this look on her face.....and that's when I was told....Baby Smith was on the way.

I was so excited, not just because she was joining me on the great adventure of parenthood, but because my daughter would have a new playmate, and of course I was excited about a baby shower!!

College friends at my baby shower: Cristina, "Alicia", Me, Kristi, and "Heidi." Cristina hosted and coordinated the arrival of these surprise guests.

Fast fwd 9 months and she called me from her hospital bed, I thought it was because she had her baby....nope she just called me because she needed to kill some time waiting for nurses (thinking about it now, maybe she had some really good drugs in her IV as well). Anyways, she cut the conversation short because it was time to push. WOW I thought - she was in labor and yet had time to call? She was super mom already.

When she called me with the news of Malea's dx, I truly didn't know what to say. I was at work and I'm sure I said everything I wasn't supposed to. But I could tell in her voice how hard the past few days had been and as a friend I felt so helpless. I asked what I could do for her and she asked for at least I know was good for something. ;)

Malea has made me more aware of Down syndrome and special needs children in general. I have seen the struggles and frustrations that Chrystal has faced. However, I also know through reading Chrystal's blogs, that in many ways Malea is no different than my girls and the challenges Chrystal faces I can relate to as well. Though Malea may reach milestones at different pace than my girls, the accomplishment is still the same. I like to think that if and when Chrystal moves back to DC, our children will be friends and we can set up play dates and do mom things together.

Check out Cristina's princesses. Couldn't you just eat them up?!

I was watching the world news a while ago and there was story about girl in Texas who was crowned homecoming queen and had hoped to study drama in college. She had Down syndrome and I couldn't help but think that will be Malea one day. Though I know Malea will face numerous challenges in her life, I also know there endless possibilities for her as well.