Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Milestones... Something to Make You Smile

"The most amazing things happen when you least expect them to. The unfortunate part is we often don't even recognize them because we are caught up in the things that are not so amazing. Keeping a positive attitude regardless of what is happening will help you realize all the gifts you are given every day. 
Don't let the clouds take away your sunshine!" 
Shelley Giard

There used to be days that I had to force myself to smile. I often woke up exhausted from the lack of sleep having too many things on my mind. I stayed stressed no matter how big or little my problems actually were. I was engulfed in a world that consumed me every day and although I tried very hard to keep a positive attitude, it was often very hard to see past the rain that was pounding on my life. I was overwhelmed, overworked and ends still never seemed to meet as I was trying to give my children the life of  typical children that had two working parents would have, on one unpredictable, self-employed income. I sweated the small stuff, the big stuff and even gave the medium stuff a ride on my back.

Just when I thought I was at the end of my rope, I was given a gift... although initially I did not know it was a gift because it felt more like a curse. I was pregnant... with my fourth unexpected child as I was plotting a divorce from my ex husband. Mentally, I rejected the pregnancy and did not attach myself emotionally at all until that fate-filled day. You see, I had been praying... a lot, and did not understand why I was being led down this path but I knew in my heart there was a plan; I was right. I was so weak emotionally that I had no choice but to allow my faith and beliefs to take over. That was one of the good choices I had made.

Month 5, week 20, I was told my daughter would be born with Down syndrome... and I knew without a doubt that this was my gift. I had always heard about this "gift" but I never understood the magnitude until Abrielle was actually here. There is SO much more I could add here... some of which is in the book I just wrote, (https://www.createspace.com/3969201and much of it will be shared in a future book I will write. However, today... I will simply share this...

My daughter Abrielle is 3, and today she reached yet another milestone, one that makes her more typical at a very young age in her world because I believe she can do anything a typical child can do... it just takes more time. I have seen it, I have helped her, and I have been amazed at her determination. I treat her no different because in the grand scheme of things... she is just like us only better. Her love has changed me more than I ever thought possible, and it changes the people around her. Her smiles melt butter and they happen so frequently, yet I will never take them for granted. I was blessed with exactly what I needed... a reason to smile everyday and something that would make me smile on the days when I woke up stressed and tired feeling like I had nothing left.

My little munchkin rode the bus home from school for the first time today. Although I still take her in the mornings because we have so much fun singing and dancing to Mandisa, I felt it would be good to let her spread her independent wings and be like many other school children and ride the bus. They have a special seat harness to protect her small little frame but she feels like a big girl now and I saw it as she got off the bus today. As I stood there taking pictures of this moment in her amazing life, she smiled... and waved and a tear rolled down my face. It was one of those moments that I want to pause because my special little baby girl is becoming exactly what I knew she could be, a typical child. The only difference is, she takes her time learning, absorbing and appreciating everything around her; the stuff we take for granted ever single day.

There is no stress on that cute little face and very little sadness overcomes her. She is filled with a whole lot of smiles, sweet little kisses and hugs that will last forever. The plan was a good one... although I questioned it at times, when all I had left was faith and belief the greatest gift of all was given to me in a 4lb. 6oz. package. Born a month early on October 16th; October is Down syndrome awareness month. Coincidence? I think not. That too had purpose.

As I close this post tonight, I challenge you to stop complaining. Take your time absorbing the world around you, learn at a slower pace so that you will realize your full potential. Don't sweat the small stuff, the big stuff or the medium stuff. Have faith that it's all part of your plan and know that it is up to you to realize the gifts you are given; your job beyond the realization is to put those gifts to use, let them become your passion. Doing this will help you as it has helped me find what these "special people" have that we often seek our entire lives; happiness that comes with just being.

xoxo
~Shells~

She arrives... I am so happy that the "short bus" joke no longer applies

The bus aide delivers my cute little package

Someone fell asleep on the ride home because they did not nap at school 

But being tired did not stop her from waving goodbye to her friends 

 THE END