Either Way

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ― Helen Keller

Mia has a single transverse palmar crease on one hand. It’s one of the tell-tale signs of Down syndrome. On the other hand she doesn’t. It’s just a typical palm. Her opposite hands have become symbolic for me – how it could have gone either way. One isolated soft marker. A four percent chance. Odds are in your favor. It’s like when you watch a spinning quarter. Head or tails. Heads or tails. Heads or tails.

I think back to last year. What would my life have been like if that typical palm had been her story? What if I was one of the 96%?

But I wasn’t. There are still days when I’m sad. Sometimes I look at friends’ completely healthy babies or typically developing children and think, “I wish that were me.” It’s human.

Because it could have gone either way.

Like in one of those choose your own adventure novels, you go down one path and find the hidden treasure or you go down another path and get eaten by an alligator. Only I was forced down a path by circumstance. I didn’t choose the adventure.

So did I find the treasure or get eaten by the alligator?

I started 2013 reluctant to reach out to anyone. I didn’t know what all of this meant. I didn’t want to be part of a group. I didn’t want to be an advocate. I just wanted it all to go away.

I could have gone either way.

But over the course of the year, I’ve made new, amazing friends, been overwhelmed by the support of the people in my life, become an advocate for my daughter, tried to educate others, grown in my faith, and had my eyes opened to an entire community ready to welcome us.

And I’ve fallen madly in love with a beautiful girl who is becoming a sassy toddler.

Last year really could have gone either way.

The infant year is over. I don’t know what to expect from 2014. I’ve given up guessing.

I don’t think it’s my adventure anymore anyway. It’s hers. I’m just along for the ride.