Friday, October 30, 2009

Kristi's Annual Update

Remember the "In Their Own Words" series from last year?

Well, Kristi participated back then and decided to submit an update on her perspective.

It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since we went trick-or-treating in Kansas.

Kristi maintains a blog over at Southeast of Disorder.

Thanks, friend!


It’s been a year since I last wrote on Chrystal’s blog…time sure flies and man Malea has grown leaps and bounds and so has her Mom.

Last time I wrote the pair was in my town for a work-related visit. It was fantastic and I wish we had one planned for this year, but we don’t and that is life when we spread out all across the country. I still miss them and love this blog, phone calls, and of course photos of our favorite two-year-old.

What have I seen from my corner of the world? Well, I have seen a family grow more confident in what is. Chrystal and Dwight don’t accept DS as a limiting factor and, as a result, it doesn’t limit their family.

Yes, Malea may be clinically behind her peers but let me tell ya, she has reached a million milestones, just in her own time, over this past year. If she came for a visit, I would have to cram because she passed me long ago with signing. Plus, we wouldn’t want to repeat the “more shoes” thing when I was trying to say “more milk.”

I think that is something key to point out to anyone out there just entering this world and to their friends. Your child will indeed achieve just like any other kid just on a different time schedule. So, try as hard as you can to flush all those negative comments the doctors and well-meaning people make down the toilet. Your child and your family will move forward and you will surprise yourself with your strength, resolve, and ability to handle this change in direction.

You will find other mothers who truly understand and you will solidify friendships with friends who will make every effort to “get it.” You may lose some friends/family members, but it’s just their true colors shinning through. In my opinion, you never needed that baggage in the first place and you’ll learn to handle the loss.

What have I learned from my friends and my amazing niece this past year? Well, first and foremost, I am not afraid to have a child past that "dreaded" 35-years-old mark, where my Doctor tells me I am at a higher risk for having a child with DS. I find the conversation with my Doctor absurd. Maybe that’s wrong of me. I don’t know. A very unique part of me wants to be in the club. Call me crazy.

Let me clarify. I would never wish anything on a child that makes their life more difficult, but I don’t feel DS is a horrible thing. Does that make any sense at all? Basically, my point is that I don’t have a fear or a clock ticking down in my head anymore and that sets me free. Now I am still scared to death of the birthing process, but what do you expect? I am no saint.

I have also learned the power of the R-word and how it needs to be addressed. I still screw up, even around Chrystal, which truly breaks my heart when I do. It is so embedded into slang in the Midwest that it makes me ill. However, I make the effort daily to erase the word and to explain to others why they should as well. Yes, it doesn’t affect me as directly, but does that matter? It’s offensive and it’s rude so have some class, make the effort, and if you slip up admit it, apologize, and work harder.

All of this makes me wonder where we all will be a year from now and what we will learn…hmmm


sheree said...

wow! What an AMAZING friend! And the fact that she kinda wants to be a part of "the club?!!!" Would you please give her a hug from me next time you see her?