What does it mean to say that I accept that Kimani has Down syndrome, or that I accept her as is? And, is acceptance the same as being “over it”?
First I contemplate the definition of acceptance...
1. the act of taking or receiving something offered.
2. favorable reception; approval; favor.
3. the act of assenting or believing: acceptance of a theory.
4. the fact or state of being accepted or acceptable.
Well, I didn’t abort her or give her away, so I would say number one is a go. Seeing how I adore her, and think she is an interesting and fun child, 2 is good. I knew the second I saw her that she has Down syndrome, and an unnecessary blood test performed by the hospital proved this, so clearly I believe and accept that she has Down syndrome.
Number 4... hmmm.
My husband and I were driving along one day last Fall when I told him that the dentist said Kimani is missing teeth. I was surprised that he was bothered by this. I pointed out that it isn’t like she was missing a ventricle or something, I mean it’s just teeth. You can buy those. And he was quickly assuaged. Missing teeth... acceptable.
But what about the delays? Our Baby’s First Year calendar is now a first three years notebook. I can handle that. In fact, there is a certain thrill and rush of pride that comes every time she does something new. You know how you feel when your kid scores the winning goal at the soccer game? I feel like that each time she uses a new sign or says a new word, or shows off a new motor skill.
So far so good. Now I will take a deep breath and go one step further.
Eventually time will show that delays are no longer just delays, that there are other things missing... things that cannot be bought. If she is at the top of her class those things may be minor and not so painful. But if she is a typical design, then there will be things... bigger things... things I don’t even want to put into words right now.
Oh, I know there are a lot of years between here and there, and that when it goes day by day it is easier to find these things about her “acceptable”. I have faith that I will always find her to be acceptable to me in the present.
Acceptance... I think I’ve got it covered and can safely say I am there. But am I over it? When she is grown, and she is who she is, and I make peace with that, then I guess I’ll be sure that I’m over it. But for now, I just don’t know.
(Moms of older kids... are you out there? Talk to me.)
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