Now, I know I don't post here as much as some of you in the blogosphere would like. It's not that I don't marvel at the joy and my blessings every day. It's not that I don't want to share them with you, my friends and strangers. I don't write here to share every time Eva has a cold or the days when she and I aren't getting along or the stresses I feel as a mother to this child (which are great sometimes but I have another place for those words). I am keenly aware of airing my family's dirty laundry for the world to see and, being a private person, I will not do it.
I do not wish to hold up Eva's accomplishments as a means of comparison with other children with Down syndrome or other disabilities or with typically developing children. One of the mantras I wrote for myself very early in my motherhood with Eva is "Do not compare." I realized quickly that I would destroy myself and my family if I became consumed with comparing every aspect of her existence with other babies and with the baby I had in my mind that I was "supposed" to be a mother to.
This blog is a place for celebration. For learning, rejoicing, and honoring the things that make Eva the fabulous little girl that she is. I'm not here to prove anything to anybody or to persuade or to garner pity. I am here to share little glimpses into the heart of my girl so that you may feel your heart swell for a moment as mine does every day that I am blessed to have her by my side.
Here are a few examples of Eva's fabulousness:
--A couple weeks ago, Eva called me, for the first time, "Turkey Lips" and laughed hysterically. It caught me off guard and I laughed, too. I don't know where she got that phrase or why she thinks it's funny but she did. She's only said it that one time.
--(In a breach from my preference to not share medical news...) Last week, we thought she was getting a bladder/urinary tract infection. After she told me her tummy hurt and pointed beneath her (super cute outie) bellybutton, I explained to her what her bladder is and how it works. Basic, simple sentences. She nodded and processed. Then she told the story back to me to further process it. She said "My body make potty and fill (b)ladder, a balloon, fill up, up, up and POP!" She laughed joyfully as if balloons filled with shiny confetti had just exploded in the living room. OK, no, it doesn't pop. I told her again, realizing the comparison to a balloon was leading her to this conclusion. She told the story to me again, this time to make sure I understood how her bladder works. "Fill up, up, up and...POP!!" Hahahaha!! Whee! OK, think what you want. What's the harm? It won't actually pop.
--Then there are the rare and precious jubilant expressions of unabashed sudden nakedness on her part. She even puts her clothes in the hamper when she streaks. She's so tidy. Or well-trained.
--Yesterday morning, waiting in the driveway for the school bus, she politely asked me to pick her up because the chilly damp wind had picked up. I held her and we listened to the quiet on the street, the different birdsongs. She put her warm hands on either side of my face and nuzzled my nose and giggled. We got to talking about colors and finding things outside in different colors. I said, "Find something brown. Do you see something brown?" She said, "That tree. JJ's house. Dirt." I said, "Find something purple." She said, "Our house!" (Our house is periwinkle). She gasped and said, seriously, with her hands on my cheeks, her face an inch from mine, "Mama! Our house purple (like) fruit smoothie!" Yes indeed, Eva! Eva enjoys fruit smoothies I make with blueberries, among other things. We laughed at her genius.
--This evening, Eva and I were assembling Valentines for her class party. She was practicing lines and circles on a piece of paper while she waited until it was her turn to write (with my hand to guide) her name on each Valentine. I was sitting next to her, writing kids' names on Valentines. She said, "Line. Line. Across...that 'H', Mama!" Oh, holy crap. She wrote a capital 'H'. She's never purposefully written a letter before (that I'm aware of). We celebrated and laughed. And then she did it again. And again. And again.
What a charmed life I live to be able to celebrate and laugh every day. Thank you, Eva.