It’s been a busy week, sales training for four days with lots of homework to keep us busy on an evening. I didn’t get to spend as much time with Elijah as I would have liked but I have to say the training was well worth it, from a career point of view and in my personal life.
Part of the training involved role-plays where you had to answer specific questions as a ‘victim’, and then answering the same questions as someone who has always taken responsibility for their actions.
The last question was ‘How would your life be better if you had always taken responsibility for your actions?”
It got me thinking and I struggled to answer. As everyone has, I’ve endured heartbreak, I’ve had some tough times and I’ve made a lot of mistakes. I also had some great times and think I’ve turned out a fairly decent person. But whatever I’ve done, or been through, good and bad, has led me to where I am today. And where I am is with Elijah. I’m his Mummy; I’m the person closest to him, the one who gets to tuck him in at night, who’s greeted with that amazing, cheeky smile on a morning. The one who comforts him when he’s sad and makes him laugh until he squeals. I get the worlds best cuddles, and cutest sloppy kisses. I watch him as he achieves his milestones and hold his hand when he fails. This is my life.
Because of Elijah I have done things I never dreamt I would. I’ve been to Leeds University twice to speak to student Midwives about how to engage with parent’s pre or post diagnosis. I’ve been to York University and have been invited back in the autumn, I’ve now been asked to speak to practising GP’s at Harrogate hospital. Who me!? I’m speaking with educated people, of amazing intelligence, people who I could only dream of being like. Yet they are interested in what I have to say. I’ve raised many thousands for charities and hosted a gala event. This wouldn’t have happened pre-Elijah, I didn’t have the passion or drive or the confidence. Elijah has given all this to me.
I hear so much negativity about Down Syndrome, I hear terrible stories of parents being almost forced to terminate pregnancies or being made to feel that their lives are over because their unborn child has been diagnosed with a condition that seems to instil such fear in people. So I have to show as many people as possible that life with Down Syndrome is amazing, of course it has its challenges but surely any child brings challenges and elements of fear. I have everything to thank Elijah for, I may have been living four years ago, but I certainly wasn’t alive, not really, not compared to now. He’s the reason I get up in the morning, the reason I smile, the reason I go to work, he’s my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My point is that we’ve all had ups and downs, some worse than others, but you have to move on and keep faith. You just don’t know what is round the corner. Playing the victim won’t get you anywhere; it will just drag you down and make you miserable. I don’t want Elijah to ever feel like a victim, or ask why me? He is who he is and I love the bones of him; he has Down Syndrome, not a life sentence. He can be whatever he wants to be and achieve whatever he wants. Whatever type of job he wants, he can get, as long as he has the right encouragement and confidence in himself. And woe betide anyone in his life who tries to victimize him, or thinks that acting the victim is okay. You will have me to answer to, and thanks to Elijah, I’m a force to be reckoned with.
My son, My Elijah, My World.