I know that people look at me with Sophia sometimes and think, "How does she do it?" I use to look at other moms, and dads, and think the same thing.
A lot of days consist of Sophia getting into EVERYTHING. Constantly testing anyone's patience that she can. She LOVES to keep everyone on their toes, every second of the day. I find myself constantly following her around when we are away from our house, her second shadow I guess you could say. I also find myself constantly reminding her how to act, what is appropriate behavior and what is inappropriate behavior. I don't feel safe leaving her unattended for even short periods of time. I always have my eyes open, my ears listening, and my feet ready to run after her if I need to. It's our normal. That's just how it's always been.
I try and give Sophia space to show me that she can be "trusted" in certain situations. Sometimes she succeeds and sometimes......she doesn't. It's a learning process. Sometimes it feels like an extremely LONG learning process, but a process that we are determined to conquer! (And a process that we have had huge gains in!)
I'd be lying if I didn't say I wish there was an off switch that I could flip sometimes. I get tired and lazy and just want to sit back and watch, instead of being on the front lines playing "catch me if you can"!
But the truth in all of this is, I love Sophia, just the way she is. She brings joy and happiness and adventure in our lives. She's unfiltered when it comes to her curiosity and her ability to show love and affection to anyone. She's pure and honest and tells it just how she sees it.
I look back at situations that we are in all the time. I think about how stressed out and crazy I felt in those moments. I think about how I felt like I was being judged by everyone around us, or worse, how Sophia was being judged. Then I get home and we all settle back down into the comfort of our own home and I think about how maybe the problem wasn't Sophia, but it was me. Me trying to please everyone else around us, instead of just letting my child be who she is.
As a parent, you always have good days, and bad days, and great days, and really ugly days. But at the end of the day, when I put my babies to bed and we lay there reading books and snuggling close to each other, it always brings me back to why I wanted to be a mom. It doesn't matter which child of mine it is, I always feel so blessed to have been given the opportunity to be a part of their life, Down syndrome or not.