Candles, check. Cake, almost check. This turning one thing sorta snuck up on us. One can be mischievous like that. You think you’re gonna have a baby forever and then BAM! One. I really can’t believe a year is here. In some ways it feels like a whole lifetime ago that we sat in the recovery room trying to wrap our mind around the fact that he was here let alone that he came with extra chromosomes. I remember making a call to my Mom; I remember how salty the phone tasted pressed hard against my cheek…How I swore that I wouldn’t cry every time I said it: Down Syndrome. There were many pauses in the conversation. We were all gathering as much information as we could, anything we thought might be pertinent to Hobbs. Thanks be to God, almost none of it has come true. Note to self, *Do NOT google anything in the hospital! You can read Hobbs’s birth story here if you haven’t yet. Its the real beginning to this story.
We have been blessed with a child with Down Syndrome who by all standardized testing is healthy. You may recall some talk of holes inside his heart, and that’s true he does indeed have holes in his heart thought you’d never know it by the sound of his laugh or the intent in his stare. His body continues to grow and develop while the holes are on stand still. Along with his heart we’ve tested his: thyroid, vision, hearing and blood. All have come up ‘normal’. This is extremely rare. And for this, I am eternally grateful. Your prayers and love languages of all kinds have reached us- I’ve not felt alone in this for one second. Ok, that might be a small lie. I’ve felt alone a little. For example, when I’m at the mall and I see a table full of kids with special needs and it occurs to me that someday Hobbs will have earned a chair. Tears- oh the power of a good shed. Then I smile and remember that ‘cool kids’ are most likely to fall into peer pressure and use drugs and for some reason this makes me feel better, sick I know.
What really makes this all ok is that I love Hobbs so much, just the way he is. Even if I could, I wouldn’t change a thing about his genetic make-up. I’ve said it before, if it were up to me I’d have made my life less messy and painful. But in doing so, I would’ve cut out all the splendor. The most painful experiences have led me to true freedom and happiness. They have led me to God and to a faith that has grown from a believing to a knowing. There is a difference. Having a child born with special needs fits right in their with the rest of the scary stuff I thought I couldn’t withstand. History has proven though, if I hang on to God and my ‘pit crew’ of support it’ll be better on the other side. Today I cry less about Down Syndrome and more about my lack of parenting skills. Then I remember that even though I’m their parent I’m not their God. And I can just do my best knowing that. Do my best. And Hobbs has taught me to be gentle with my self, take rests if I need to.
It feels so much like one giant party around here lately. I knew this would happen, yet I’m still totally surprised it did. We started with Eric, just wrapped Halloween and tomorrow Hobbs we will celebrate the big “1” with many of our friends and family. Three more holidays, several more family birthdays and our 5 year anniversary promise to keep us in our party pants. But what’s a pair of party pants without a great shirt?! Glad you asked. To honor Hobbs’s first birthday and to raise awareness for the Spokane Guild School we’re selling in-house designed T-shirts. Please visit this site to order yours. All profit will be directly returned to the Guild School. Please feel free to also visit the school’s website and donate directly to them. We have so much to be grateful for. Our family is healthy, we have a roof over our head, running water, an entire team of specialists, therapists, nurses and friends and our side.
I want to thank you all for helping to make this year less scary, less lonely, less painful than I first imagined. Together, we can do amazing things.
Happy Birthday Hobbsy! Mommy loves you.