Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

The Fine Line

on March 31, 2014

(Typing on an iPhone is obnoxious.)

As we sat down to dinner last night, we wanted to talk to Ellie about the fact that I was going back to work in the morning. The conversation went as follows:

Me: El, Momma is going to work tomorrow, so I won’t be here in the morning.

Ellie: You’re gonna go be a teacher?

Me: Yup, I sure am!

Ellie: and Daddy’s a teacher and when I’m a person (the word she uses instead of adult), I’m gonna be a teacher too! And Tessa’s gonna be a teacher too!!

John and I exchanged a pained glance and inwardly, I cringed. Outwardly, there was a forced smile and a “yup, she sure could be a teacher!”

Can she?

There is a fine line that we dance around as parents of a child with Down syndrome… the line between being realistic, based on what history has shown us and being optimistic… unwilling to create some self-fulfilling prophecy that keeps Tessa from her full potential. That line is blurry. What is her full potential?? And while all parents think about this with their children, it’s different when the child is toting around an extra chromosome. It just is.

The truth is that I don’t care what job Tessa has, that’s not the point. A person’s job or income is not the measure of their success in my world. What I want is for her to have choices. I tell my students almost every day that their education will give them choices. And I want the same for my own child. Happiness and choices.

The words “fair” and “deserve” are two that often make me cringe. Life certainly isn’t fair and when it comes down to it, I don’t know that any of us deserve anything, good or bad. That doesn’t keep me from wanting or hoping for my girls. We’ll continue to walk that line between realistic and hopelessly optimistic… praying every day that we wind up on the side where the glass is half full.

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One response to “The Fine Line

  1. Good luck for the return to work!

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