Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome

State of Our Union, February 2016.

It’s time for a good, old-fashioned State of Our Union update.

My lack of writing hasn’t been for lack of topic, or even lack of energy.  Quite frankly, I have lots of ideas rolling around in my head, ready to shake out on the computer page.  What I haven’t found is an environment in which I can feel settled in and focused on the words.  This is just my general state right now – a lot of things in a lot of places (including my own brain) and a routine that is somehow not routine at all.

It’s weird.

We sold our town home in December and are looking forward to purchasing a new home in the Spring, when it is a little greener and a lot warmer.  Still in the midst of Crabuary, John and I are both busy with the odd, mid-year craziness.  For me, I’m in the phase of my year that is still this year, but kind of next year all at the same time.  We talk a lot about events in the here and now, like parent conferences and grades and institute days, but also about next year.  Next year’s schedule, next year’s group of students, next year’s curriculum.

See?  No settled, no focus.  I’m like one of those frustrating novels that keeps flipping back and forth between time frames.

Those make me nuts.

Ellie’s big “news” is that she is officially a reader.  This is something that she is super excited about.  She loves books, always has, and so now that she can start to go through them on her own, she’s thrilled.  Last night, I came home with some kind of cold virus.  She plopped me on the couch, covered me with a blanket, and sat down with Are You My Mother? .  She read me the whole thing, cover to cover.  It took her an exceptionally long time, but she stuck to it.  So cool!!

We’re getting ready to enroll her in Kindergarten next year.  Like most parents, I’m not sure how we got to this point already.  The district that we are in right now offers a Dual Language Spanish program at one of the schools and we are fairly certain that this is the program that we will send Ellie to.  She would start with 80% of her day in Spanish, gradually moving toward a 50/50 English/Spanish split.  We toured the school recently and I feel pretty confident that it is the right fit for her.  We were also very pleasantly surprised that the principal made a point to tell us that they are “fully inclusive,” so sending Tessa in a few years is not off the table.

Please let that sink in for a few moments.  Tessa.  Learning SPANISH.

There is no “no.”  There is only “how can we make this work?”

Speaking of Little Miss… we have an annual review coming up on Monday.  She is on a roll these days!  No, no walking yet.  No, I’m still not stressed about it.  When she gets too heavy to carry, we’ll have another conversation.  Right now, her words and her play skills are totally blossoming.  We are still using sign quite a bit, but she is picking up on words and phrases left and right.  The very latest is that she says “Cheese!” when you hold the iPhone camera up to her face.  It kills me.  SO cute.

Her interactive play has also grown extensively.  Simple tasks like rolling a ball back and forth or playing peek-a-boo took a little extra time, but we are SO there.  She’s gotten quite good at distraction.  When I come home from work, my mom always has a good story about how Tessa has used her charm to get out of therapy or even worse, to get out of trouble!  In public places, she is a total ham with other adults.  This is something she has done for a little while now, but boy, oh boy does she love to wave and blow kisses at all the passersby.

Suffice to say, we’re rolling along now.  Good things are on the horizon, but good things are happening now, too.  It may feel unsettled, yes, but good.

I haven’t had the opportunity to sync my latest pictures recently.  We’re over on Instagram now, participating in the #365ofDisability.  If you want to join us, we are @yosoylalay .  Lots of cuteness going on over there.  🙂

Happy almost-Valentine’s Day!

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Oh mama

Oh mama, you’ve been thrown in the deep end now.  You, with that new little baby nestled in your arms, that little button nose popping out from that flat little bridge, you don’t know what just happened to your world.  It feels broken, I know.

You aren’t going to believe a word I tell you now, but that little fact never seems to stop us mommas anyway.  We’re firmly planted in the After.  You will get there.  I swear you will.

You can’t believe this has happened in your life, but it has.

You don’t understand how no one knew before… All those ultrasounds… No one knew.

No one knew.

You don’t feel equipped to do this. You tell yourself that this isn’t the life you wanted and you don’t know how you are going to manage.

You will manage… more than manage!  You already are. And you will look back and believe me someday.

There will be changes, yes.  Detours in the path.  New lingo to learn.  There is time, so much time.  Your life is moving forward, beautifully.  It’s too much now, but I assure you, it is beautiful.

There will be days when you will yearn to be treated like every other mom.  You will shout from the rooftops that you are “more alike than different!!”  You will balk at the notion that you walk a separate journey.  You will be fierce.

There will be days when just looking at families outside of this circle will make you sad.  Maybe even angry.  Your heart will beg for someone, anyone, to acknowledge that this shit is harder than people can possibly understand.  It’s nothing like what any of those ‘normal’ families deal with.  You will be annoyed.

You own these feelings, mama.  They are yours and they are right and you are just perfect.  Your child is perfect.  You have a new journey, and it will be hers and yours together for awhile, but then just hers and you… you will cheer from the sidelines.

You can, mama.  I swear, you can.  You will.  And so will she.