Another year gone by, another birthday celebrated.
I was trying to explain to a friend the other day that there are different emotions involved in celebrating Seren’s birthday to Ava’s and Violet’s. I have never mentioned this to Matt before, but out of the blue a few weeks before her birthday he commented to me that he feels different on the run up to Seren’s birthday too.
I guess some of it is that Seren’s age and development level is not on a par. She does not develop at the same speed as a neurotypical child so her birthday’s are markers that almost seem to come round far too fast. Another year has passed and the academic gap between Seren and her (mainstream) school classmates widens that bit more.
All of Seren’s achievements remain sweeter than I can ever put in to words. Her writing is coming on so well – she can now independently and without a visual prompt, write her own name and this is a skill which is not going to wear thin on me any time soon. I get her to write her own name on her fruit snacks for school now – I just love seeing her tiny hand holding the pen, and how hard she concentrates; her little hands are small, her palms short, and her fingers lack dexterity. CLICK HERE TO SEE! She can also, from a verbal command, write other letters of the alphabet and I am hoping in the next year she will learn to write more and more words independently. This is a massive achievement for Seren, who still struggles so very much with her speech!
I also wonder if this different feeling is a bit of excitement and expectation? Another year older, another year of us loving our girl so very much and relishing in her spirit and determination. I look at her and wonder how anyone could suggest she is not having anything but the most wonderful life? She is doing so well socially, emotionally, behaviourally (most of the time!).
When should I expect the worm to turn? Next year? This doom and gloom and hardship that is spouted from every angle has not materialised yet… will it? Will it ever? I almost feel like I should be waiting for it to happen because that is what is drilled in to society – that babies with Down’s syndrome are something to be sought out and destroyed, that life is so terrible for them and their parents, that it’s not a life worth living.
Yet 6 years in to our journey, we are happy, strong, and loving life. Yes, it’s impossible to deny that there are bigger bumps in the road that go with parenting a child with special needs, that the challenges are different, but I have to say the hardest thing by far is the system – not Seren! I am embarking on a statement to EHCP transfer in September and I am actually dreading it. For those of you who don’t know what that is, you should remain grateful for that!
So happy birthday to my sweet, determined, feisty, sporty girl! She continues to love gymnastics CLICK HERE TO SEE!, can now almost hold a handstand and can cartwheel pretty well too! I wonder what this next year will bring, I am excited to find out x
Love you Seren, always have and always will xxx