Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Small Hurdles, Large Leaps... Inspiration Comes in All Sorts of Packages

I am a mother of four, all of them unique, all of them special. Abrielle, better known as "Brie" is my baby girl 2 and a half; the littlest sister of three amazingly protective siblings ages 19, 10 and 3... Abrielle has Down syndrome. Last year, my oldest daughter and I created a youtube page "myamazingbrie"  in the month of October for Down syndrome Awareness month and posted her first public video called "Determination". Within an hour the post had over 200 views with the power of social media and amazing friends helping us spread the word. Over the course of the month we shared several other videos and got a great response, people telling us how beautiful she was, how we shared facts they never knew... and how inspiring she was to watch. I knew that a mission was being accomplished slowly but surely one click at a time.

Tonight, after not having updated her channel since November, I went online to post a bulletin that we would be uploading new videos for her 14 subscribers real soon. I was going to wait until she had accomplished new BIG goals like talking or running, however lately some of her small hurdles are bringing joy to my days and reminded me that small hurdles lead to large leaps. So I thought "hey... it's time for a new video or two".

As Americans... and even in some foreign countries, we are poisoned with the "I want it now" syndrome...the mentality that you don't have to wait... so much so that we lose the ability to experience of the fight and forget that small victories can truly lead to big rewards as long as we hold out long enough. I am so grateful that Abrielle reminds me of this with all her little hurdles; it keeps me in check and also keeps me a bit old fashioned in the fact that I can appreciate "growing a garden" , nothing worth anything happens overnight. She has taught me to never take ANYTHING for granted, to celebrate the small victories as much as the big ones and well... because of that my life is better and it spills onto every person who knows her, including her siblings and hopefully everyone who watches her videos.

 Abrielle has Down syndrome. To some people hearing this "term" creates a feeling of discomfort, but to those of us who live this "term" everyday, it is an inspirational blessing to our life, or at least it is with someone like me. I hope to enlighten and educate others as to why they should not be uncomfortable because I am her mother and that is my job. I owe it to "Brie" and all others like her who are faced with the same or similar challenges she has now and will have in years to come to do everything I can to change people perception of what special needs kids are like. I was blessed with her for many reasons and this is another purpose for me now.

Since the first of this year... Abrielle has started to put things in her mouth, ya know, foreign objects that she shouldn't, which is something that mothers (including myself with my other kids) get annoyed with and say NO NO!  Abreille is 2, and this JUST started happening. Although I was "proud" that my baby girl did not put random things in her mouth... (that was the optimist in me) I knew deep down it was because she had not "figured that out" yet. Needless to say I am not only clapping when she puts foreign objects in her mouth now, I am taking videos and pictures to celebrate her "figuring this out". Don't take ANYTHING for granted and no matter how small the hurdle, reward yourself for jumping it... because it is one more large leap towards the finish line.

xoxo ~Shells~

"Eating this wrapper means soon I will be eating the candy that used to be in it!"
Abrielle aka "Brie" 2-15-12