My tiny teacher.

As many of you know my little man, my little hero, has Down syndrome.  I found out two days after he was born and we remained in hospital for three weeks. However that story has already been told, we are now onto a new chapter.

Elijah is now 11 months old and life with him is a constant education. I am always told how much slower he will be than ‘typical’ babies of the same age. So what can Elijah do?  He can sit, he’s a little wobbly. I wouldn’t walk off and leave him sitting as he does have a tendency to get excited, wave his arms around like a lunatic and topple over. He commando crawls and can get up quite a speed; he’s found the cat flap so I need to watch that he doesn’t make a break for freedom. He gets on his hands and knees, rocks backwards and forwards, beaming with happiness, then flops forward and commandos himself off on a new adventure. I’m fairly certain he would win gold at raspberry blowing if only the Olympics would accept it as a sport. He explores the world with a gentle, tentative flick of his fingers, this turns into a stroke and then quite possibly a grab. Ask my cat, she knows. Oh, I know too, I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’ll most probably be bald by the New Year.   He laughs beautiful, beautiful giggles. A game of round and round the garden, the anticipation and the final tickle reduces him to a giggling mess.  He can hold onto the side in the swimming pool and I can let go of him, he kicks his legs and waves his arms like mad in his own swimming style while I hold him. He knows what kiss means and will kiss (lick) me. He babbles, he pulls himself to a sitting position on my low coffee table, he blows raspberries on my cheek, he touches my face and melts my heart and he smiles. He barely stops smiling. His cheeks must hurt. When he smiles his entire face lights up, I have never known anything like it. It is like moonbeams have collided with sunshine and radiate from his whole being.

Maybe he is a wee bit slower, I don’t know how far along he would be if he didn’t have DS. Does it bother me? Occasionally, sometimes I compare him to other babies far younger than him, seemingly doing much more. Then again some babies spend all day screaming, some babies spend all night screaming, some babies are moody. Not Elijah, whether that is down to DS or not who knows, he has his moments but the majority of the time he is a pleasure to be around. Yes it takes a bit more work; I have to spend more time with him doing physio or play/ education. Yes he has more medical appointments than most and more risk of heart defects, hearing issues, sight conditions and a variety of other medical conditions which so far we have escaped.  As a single mother it can be tough, but he is worth every bit and more. My point is that there are so many negative connotations with DS. If I had found by pre-natal testing I would have been terrified, I would never have dreamt I could cope. But I do, and I love, I love the very bones of him.

So do I wish he didn’t have Down’s? Absolutely not. By asking me that you are asking me if I want a different son.  He may not be what society deems as perfect but in my eyes he couldn’t be more beautiful.  Without DS he wouldn’t have those gorgeous almond shaped eyes, those eyes that make him look like he constantly has mischief on his mind. Those eyes that blink at me, full of wonder and awe.  I love every inch of him, from his highly boopable button nose, to his stubby fingers to his slightly wonky toes.  He has made all my dreams come true and more and I could not be more proud of him.  He is most definitely not stupid; there is a vast difference between being stupid and taking a bit longer to learn something. He has determination by the bucket load, nothing will stop him. So he will get there and I will be there every step of the way. I’ll catch him when he falls, I’ll make sure he gets back up again. I’ll do my best to protect him from the bigots and prejudice that is unfortunately prevalent in this world.  And I will do whatever it takes to make sure he is happy.

He has taught me compassion and acceptance in a world with so little. He has taught me patience and understanding in such a fast paced world. He has taught me that life is not about where the next party is or who’s out in town tonight. But most of all he has taught me about love, pure and unconditional. He is the love of my life and without him I would quite simply cease to exist.

My Son, My Elijah, My World.

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9 thoughts on “My tiny teacher.

  1. Jules B says:

    What a beautiful depiction of your Elijah. All the amazing, awe-inducing intricacies that constitute your little man and as described by you, illustrates the priceless, magical relationship between parent and child. I believe this “can do” attitude is such a powerful tool… With this, the world is indeed yours and Elijah’s oyster.

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  2. Paula says:

    Wendy, having seen your little man in the water swimming with Mummy this term – to me he is Amazing! and don’t forget too that he is the youngest in his class and he can do all the skills and milestones we task him with. I love watching him splashing around and the joy he also brings to his peers around him and yes I think he teaches us all. We have a natural water baby in Elijah and his bubbles do him proud and that’s what will make him a strong swimmer! we will see him at the Olympics yet! Looking forward to many more moons of teaching the little man. x

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  3. Debbie Matthews says:

    You have reduced me to tears yet again!!! What a wonderful, emotional, loving and inspirational account. The words of a doting mother xxx

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  4. Kirsty Green says:

    You are an amazingly strong and beautiful mother. Charlie and I adore Elijah. He is a wonderful boy. Your writing is beautiful- have you ever thought of being a writer? You are incredibly intelligent and have such a capacity for love. Elijah is lucky he has you, and you are lucky you have Elijah. What a great team. You made me cry (in a good way) you made me see things in my own son that I may have overlooked before I read this. I, like you, want to literally inhale my son and the experience of motheringh him. Thank you for helping expand my own emotional capacity and observations in my own son through your experience..I am in awe of you both xxx

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  5. Kari M says:

    I have just choked up…at work! Beautifully written…And it was a pleasure to see Elijah come on leaps and bounds at the pool, along with the others. We of course miss you both, and you are both an inspiration! Can’t believe he is coming up to being 1 already….time flies when you’re having fun! And may I add, Imogen is nearly 15 months and only just starting to walk! All our little bundles are on their own journey; they’ll get to where they want to be when they’re good and ready! We can only guide and support them on the way. Myself (and Imogen) can’t wait to see you both again, and am sure Imogen will give Elijah a big open mouthed lick (aka kiss) xxx

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