Monday, March 12, 2007

Day by Day

Now that I have gotten my kids on a sleep schedule, Tess is down by 6:30 p.m. (7:30 with the time change) and Owen is not far behind. He is down by 7 p.m, 8 p.m. with the time change. But a funny thing happened when we finally got settled in here and I decided they were going to start getting to bed at a reasonable hour: they liked it. Now, they crave going to sleep at their bedtime. Every night, Owen says, "Mommy, I want to sleep," almost exactly on the hour, and if I don't get him right in bed, he falls apart. Tess is the same. She is fed, changed, and I head upstairs with her, where she reaches for her crib as I walk into her room. She puts her head on her favorite blanket, and I hear her talk for a few minutes by herself, until she falls asleep. With Owen, I know I created some bad habits, but he was my first. When I lay him in bed, he just wants to rub my hand with his fingers to fall asleep. And I just can't stop it. I can't let go. I love him so much, and it gives me a chance to be still with him, to savor those last moments of the day with him.

Tonight, I had to give Owen a bath before bed because he was so dirty, and I put bubble bath in the water. He was so entranced by the bubbles, and the way he could put them on his face (and on mine, too). But as soon as we hit the magic hour, he said, "Mommy, water and sleep." (Let's just say he's a man of few words). So I got him dressed for bed, and I said, "I'll go get your binky, why don't you get in bed." "No, Mommy," and he grabbed me, "Hug. Hug," and he held on so tight. I could swear he said "I need a hug," but I won't go that far to say my son is that verbal in speech. But he was able to communicate that to me, which is so important. (And FYI, about the binky, he has sensory issues, so he gets one to help him fall asleep, but no other time of the day).

I watched my son as he fell asleep, and I was so grateful to God for sending him to me. Yes, I love my daughter, but there is something about this person who inhabits this fragile body, with his simple requests, that just tears my heart. I don't know why, but I fear for him and his health so much more than my daughter. Although, today his blood tests came back and they were normal, yeah!

I think about my life and how much he has given to me, how much more rich my life is because of him. I couldn't even imagine what my life would be like if we had decided to test and terminate, and then waited for our next child, who might just very well have been Tess. When I watch the two of them, and how he makes her laugh, it is priceless. She adores him. People always ask me, "I bet she's catching up to him..." Yea, and so what? Maybe she is a little faster in some things, but you cannot replace the joy he brings to every one of us in our household. It's funny because our kids are such easy-going, well-mannered kids. Owen says "thank you" all the time when you give him something, and when he burps, he says "Pardon me" (well, he leaves off the P). But we try to instill in our children common courtesy, which I'll tell you, I don't know what other parents are teaching their kids, but it ain't manners! But that's another subject for another day.

I wish I had more time to write. I always feel so much better when I have a chance to let my thoughts coalesce. For now, though, I have to be happy with the time I do have. I wouldn't trade my time with the kids for writing, and I suppose that's why I probably will never finish writing my book.


Blogger jennifer said...

I know exactly how you feel. And we are "gearing up" for our next round of blood tests...I can't wait for it to be over, and I hope they come back fine for us, too.

8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just stopping by to wish you a happy World Down Syndrome Day!


12:26 PM  

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