Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Hard Stuff About Having Down Syndrome

This blog was started as a way to share what we've learned about Down Syndrome and I know I haven't been writing too much about it lately. But that's because our lives are just... our lives. Down Syndrome isn't always the focus anymore because I realize we're the ones with the issues, not Beth.

There was one day recently where the speed at which Beth lives was really frustrating me. We were at the grocery store and I told her I had a lot to buy and only a short time to buy it so we were gonna have to hustle. She got her cart and I got mine. As we're shopping I'm thinking about everything I need to buy and crossing things off my list... We get to the cashier and she begins 'helping' me pull my stuff out of the cart, one by one by one. I took a deep breath and realized she really was moving as fast as she could. Faster than her normal speed. So I thanked her and moved up to pay the cashier. After I paid I moved out to the aisle to give her room at the cashier. She hollered at me, "Hey!" really loud and it made the cashier and bagger laugh. I told her I wasn't leaving yet and that's when she asked if she could get some cash back. I helped her through the process and then we left.

As we're headed to the car she tells me, "I really hustled, huh?" She was so proud of herself and yet I had been so focused on getting everything done that I hadn't really noticed. But she really DID move fast in that store. We left the house, bought a lot of groceries and were on our way home again in just under an hour. I put my arm around her and told her that I was proud of her. That she did great!

So, I'm finding that a lot of the stuff that makes having Down Syndrome hard, isn't always because of Beth. Too often it's because of me. I'm the one that makes it hard.

I'm impatient. I'm frustrated. I have a short temper. My expectations are wrong.

Beth lives her life happily, going about her day to day activities with a smile on her face knowing it's gonna be a good day.

I go about my life angry that someone cut me off on the freeway. Frustrated that the computer is too slow. Worried about tomorrow.

Beth has her routine and is happy to have it. She doesn't have any enemies. No regrets. She's content with her life and the people and things in it.

What a great way to live.


Caz said...

Beth is amazing and you're amazing. If this blog is sometimes, about what you've learnt as Beths' mother, then this is a huge lesson for all of us to just get our priorities right. No enemies. no regrets - how completely wonderful. (I also love when you write about all the other stuff x)

Unknown said...

Even at the age of 6, I see the same things in Owen that you see in Beth. He is happy with himself, his day, his routine, his things. It is often MY issues that get in the way of the positivity he is sharing with everyone else. I'm the one that wants him to talk; he has figured out his own way of communication and it really does work for him. I assume he would like to talk, but maybe he doesn't care as much as I do because he gets by in life right now just fine.

Thanks for providing some perspective!

Unknown said...

I so appreciate your perspective and hearing about Beth. I totally agree that the things that get down about Down syndrome are usually MY hangup--never my sons.

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blog for a few years now (I am also a fellow mom of a 12 year old "snail"), and after reading this, I just had to delurk to say What a wonderful post! This really sums up how we should all approach life to make the most of it & strive to actively BE happy instead of concentrating on the negative. After all, we've been given the best teachers to achieve this :D so a failure would be unacceptable.
Hope you keep on sharing your adventures with Beth with all of us for a long time to come!

Sherry Palmer said...

I just started following your blog...I love it! Give Beth a hug from "Life with Charley"!!! I'm already a huge fan...