So we are officially OFF!!
The girls broke up on Thursday so we are now in to our summer holidays. Seren struggles with the concept of holidays because to her a “holiday” means we are going away. A school holiday is harder for her to grasp so we just tell her it’s lots of “home days”. She loves school but she loves home days too.
Every year we make a list of things that each of us would like to do and we try and cross off as much as we can. We can’t always do everything but we try.
This year we have the added pleasure of a wedding! Not just any wedding either, the wedding of a lovely friend of mine who has asked for all my girls to be her little bridesmaids. To say they are all thrilled is an understatement.
Today we went shopping for their shoes for the big day. I took my girls in to Reading for a mooch around the shops while Matt stayed home to do some housework and go for a bike ride. While we were in Reading a realisation dawned on me; Seren was walking around the shops, being a typical kid and admiring or criticising stuff (in her own way, her speech is very delayed). We were doing NORMAL things…. we went out for lunch at Wagamamas… we had slush puppies… I had to yell at them all for giving me a heart attack and wandering off in different directions… I had to buy the obligatory notebooks and pens in Tiger and hairbands in Primark. Normal stuff. NORMAL.
So here’s the thing. When our journey started I will admit to wondering what we would lose, what we would have to adapt or change in order for us to be able to meet Seren’s needs and keep us all happy. Her diagnosis never made me bat an eyelid and we loved her before she was conceived but the future did, at times, seem daunting – not least because of what society / the NHS want us to think about what having Down’s syndrome means. None of what I was warned about when I was pregnant has come true. None of it. None of the rubbish that was spouted to me to try and get me to move towards invasive testing and termination. It’s a sobering thought actually.
I did wonder about a lot of stuff and also (and I have never admitted this before to anyone!) I felt sad for Ava. I felt sad for what she would miss out on because of Seren. Today I feel ashamed that my brain went in that direction but that is what the negativity from the medics/societies image of DS did to me.
Today as we sat by the river eating ice creams and slush puppies, Ava said to me “Seren is the funniest one in our family mummy. Whenever we go out and do things she always makes us laugh”. She does too. We haven’t had to stop doing anything because of her but we have had to slow down and appreciate things in a different way. We have the pleasure of experiencing life in it’s purest form from a child who lives in the moment and loves life a bit more than the rest of us.