Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence. Helen Keller.
Those of you who know me well know that I am not an optimist. Im probably the worst kind of pessimist a sarcastic pessimist. Following Mias potential diagnosis, I envisioned a life that Nate, Fynn and I would have. It didnt look very nice. It was fraught with failure, frustration, judgment, angst, and just downright disappointment. The last thing I envisioned was normal. I tried to hold out hope, but every day was a battle between my natural pessimism and my faith.
So when Mia was born and I held her, I was surprised by how normal she was. Sure, she had some symptoms of a child with Down syndrome. She had low muscle tone, a heart murmur, etc, but she also nursed, snuggled, and cried everything a normal baby does. She made me realize, even after all of my research and preparation, how (for lack of a better word) ignorant I was. She was gorgeous and amazing, not something to be feared. And for those of you whove met her, you know, shes about the least scary baby there is. Shes a content, chunky, healthy little sweetie pie.
She is definitely not what I envisioned. I would not have envisioned a baby, who was supposed to be a limp noodle with no muscle tone, lifting her head and looking around at 2 weeks. I would never have envisioned that my 5-week-old daughter would roll over for the first time ahead of schedule (even for typically developing babies). I never would have envisioned her studying our faces and the world around her with such intensity that it still shocks me a little. I never would have envisioned that she would be normal.
With that said, even though my optimistic side is starting to come out a little, Im also a realist. She has a serious, life threatening birth defect that will cause global delays. So, its not a matter of if but when those delays occur. What I do know is that I wont be the one to set the date. Ill follow her lead because its her life; I am merely her teacher and cheerleader. I will do whatever she needs me to do in order for her to reach her fullest potential and then Ill do more. Just like Fynn, I will encourage her to do whatever she puts her mind to, and Ill be there to support her all the way.
Will she fail? Of course, failure is part of life, but she already has so many cheerleaders to encourage her to try again. Will she be frustrated? Sure, what part of achievement doesnt come with frustration? Will she be met with judgment? Yes, because its a cruel world. Fortunately, shell be shielded with love. Will her life be filled with angst? Shes human. All humans are filled with angst especially teenagers. Will she be disappointed? Yes, but well be there to remind her of her blessings.
I refuse to spend my life or my childrens tempering their dreams and using words like cant. Id rather do what Einstein once suggested, Attempt the absurd to achieve the impossible.
2013 is right around the corner. A New Year is the perfect time to start attempting the absurd.