Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Guest Post: Aunt Kristi

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To begin, I should probably mention who I am. My name is Kristi and I've known Crittle since we were plebes (freshmen) in college.

Fast forward a decade [she's being kind -- CS] and, well, I now call Kansas, and a small farm, home.

 But, last week I hopped a plane to the east coast and fell head-first into the role of aunt to the cutest kids I know (well my sisters kids are pretty cute but they are older so that doesn't count).

What a week it's been. I've done breakfast with Playette, reading time, bath time, just hanging out and playing time. I've helped with the littlest and handsomest little boy as well. Oh, if I never see orange poo again, I'll be good to go!

 My take away, Crittle is a rock star mom who needs a damn vacation! She's not allowed to delete this line either :)
[you know I would have -- CS]

 Motherhood, wow! To all you Moms out there, my hat and heart goes out to you! I have forever been amazed by my sister and this week was another period for me when I was blown away at how hard a job being a mom is and the amazing grace I get to see exhibited by great moms like Crittle. Is she perfect? Nope, but she's human and so loving and kind! As a result she's got two happy, healthy children that call her Momma. Wow! Her ability to function at all on limited sleep amazes me!

Since it is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I wanted to do a guest post about my perspective as a friend and aunt to Playette. It's hard for me to recall the past and all of our fears. They seem so absurd in today's light. Let me tell you, they were very real back then. So be kind to yourself if you're scared...we all were.

What is it like from my perspective?... Hmm

Well, it's an amazing learning opportunity. I am constantly impressed by Playette's abilities vs her inabilities! She's so stinking smart and funny. Like any other kid, for real! She loves to read, tries to sneak in TV time when mom's not looking and on more than one occasion ratted me out for doing something to her mother!

Keep in mind, I've talked with Crittle about full classroom inclusion and Playette's new respite provider (who's amazing, btw). These are not normal topics for two old friends catching up about the challenges of having a kindergartner. Still, I welcome them. They make me much more socially aware of the challenges faced by families with a member that has a cognitive disability.

It helps me to speak up when in social groups regarding DS and be able to positively contribute instead of saying something lame or worse, rude. I can easily handle the question of “What's Playette like?” My response: Hilarious, lovely, and so much like her Momma. If pushed, I counter with being direct. Five years ago I'd have sidestepped the questions.

So, through this journey, as one of Playette’s aunts, I am learning and growing with her. It's a wonderful process of realizing there are no set limits for any of us and the best thing we can all do is try. We have no idea what the future will hold.

But let me tell ya, seeing her dressed up and heading off to kindergarten? That's a memory I will cherish for a lifetime!!!! I love that girl!

Hardest and best week ever!!


ckbrylliant said...

"It's a wonderful process of realizing there are no set limits for any of us and the best thing we can all do is try. We have no idea what the future will hold."