Down syndrome is definitely a part of our lives. It always will be. Down syndrome isn't a disease, there is no "cure" for it. Sophia was born with it and she will die with it. It's a part of who she is, which makes it a part of who our family is, but it's just that....a part, not a whole. Down syndrome doesn't define who Sophia is as a whole person and it doesn't define who our family is as a whole either. But because of some of the effects it has on Sophia's physical and mental developments, we have to fit some extra things into our life, that maybe we didn't have to with our oldest daughter. Making life sometimes feeling like it all revolves around a certain little someone.....Sophia! Sophia! Sophia!
But the truth is, it isn't always about Sophia. There is another special little person that is a part of our family too, and she is SO AWESOME!!!!! It's Sophia's big sister, Jayden. She just turned 6 and is a handful! She is too smart for her own good. She is emotional, independent, full of energy, athletic, kind, loving, compassionate (some of which we don't get to see a lot of at home :/ ), but she brings so much to our family, which is why we love her so much. She is beautiful, both on the inside and out. She cares about people and animals and has a compassion and love for both. She is a good friend and is described as a very kind classmate by her teacher. She is helpful and includes everyone. She loves to laugh and be loud and bounce around. She is independent and strong. She can be both a lover and a fighter. She wears her emotions on her sleeve. She wants to be loved and accepted, by everyone around her. She aims to please. She is so much older than the age of six. She is amazing. She is my daughter, my first born. The one who turned my life upside down, grabbed my whole heart in her tiny little hands and never let go.
It's hard being a mom. There are so many demands put on us, by so many people, and we hold our children's lives in the pit of our hearts. What we do or don't do for our kids, sometimes feels like we have either given them a great jump start at a wonderful life, or like we have just completely flushed all of their hopes and dreams right down the toilet. It's a struggle for me sometimes to balance the wants and needs of both of my girls, without making them feel left out or alone. I know that my girls know that I love them, but sometimes that love just doesn't seem to be enough. I pray that Jayden always knows just how special she is to our family. I pray that she knows that she is loved and supported equally to her younger sister. I pray that she understands that even though Sophia will always need a little more, from all of us, that it doesn't mean that she is more valuable or special to our family. I love both of my girls with everything that is in me. It literally hurts sometimes because of the emotions that I feel for them. They both have unique personalities and strenghts and weaknesses that I try my best to balance and give them both exactly what they need. I know I fall short somedays, but I feel like I do everything in my power to make up for it when I do. Jayden, I pray that you know it isn't always about Sophia, but it just can't always be about you either. I love you baby girl, forever and ever!
Your biggest fan,