There’s so much I want for my children. I want what any good mom wants for their kids, for them to be healthy, happy, have an intimate relationship with Christ, and to be a productive citizen.
However, I want a bit more for them. I want them to enjoy the Summer and have forever special, feel good memories that the smell of freshly cut grass and the sound of an ice cream truck brings back to them one day.
Laying in a lawn chair as I watch Savannah play in a dollar store pool with beach toys gives me a sense of peace. Savannah often reminds me to put my phone down as I may be innocently going through emails, checking my bank balance, or writing a new blog post. She pulls my phone away from me and crawls into my lap. As my soon to be 14 year old and 12 year old have their own phones, I don’t want to be an example of having my face in a phone all the time. Yes, this is a different generation; however, respectful and positive principles must be implemented to gain respectable and positive results while allowing the most incredible memories to be made!
I want Summertime to reflect a season of chilled non-routine days. I want my children to have memories of the smell of the grill cooking our dinner, popsicles staining their tongue and lips, playing in a sprinkler, going to the pool/ water park, watching a movie in a wet bathing suit, being chilled as they walk inside a cool house after playing in a pool, staying up late and sleeping in. I want them to remember fun family memories of us all together at the smell of sunscreen. I want them to remember the excitement of going to the grocery store to pick out snacks and food for a vacation. (Cheez-its, Vienna sausage, and Dr. Pepper are my childhood vacation snacks😂). I want them to remember us celebrating the birth of our country with fireworks, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs. I want them to have precious memories of driving to Orlando and spending time with Gam-mah, Papi, and cousins.
Most importantly, I want my kids to remember me being there. As a former single mom, there have been events I had to miss because of work. I actually had one in my chain of command tell me “there are things you just have to miss”. With that being said, I realize how hard it is to be completely responsible for children and others without help. I have an amazing husband that shares my desires and is so incredibly supportive of me and the time I have with our children. I couldn’t be more thankful and appreciative.
So, today and the next day, and the day after that, I will be aware of the time I am on my phone. I will let my kids be kids. I will surround them with positive energy and flood them with love, intentionally striving for an environment full of all the Summertime smells and activities. I will be there. Why? Because I love Summertime and the memories I have, but I love my kids even more and want their memories to be the best!
There is a quote hanging in Alexis’ bathroom that says it all, “You are the author of your own life story. So make it a good one!”
Happy Summertime, friends!
My Rear View Mirror
After Savannah’s checkup with her cardiologist today, I found myself reflecting on her open heart surgery last summer and my heart is full of gratefulness and thankfulness that it is in “my rear view mirror”.
There are some that do not want to look in the past. For me, certain things are hard to reflect on, yet the hardest times can teach us the most.
To think 2 1/2 years ago, I was told that Savannah had only 3 out of the four chambers of her heart, that she had Down Syndrome and that I had to make decisions and make them fast. (Those “decisions” meaning terminate Savannah). I was given every possible negative scenario and told every situation that could go wrong from any possible angle. I was even given a negative outlook on this sweet, beautiful little girl’s future!
Who can predict anyone’s future? Any child comes with obstacles and difficulties, correct? Do you love your child any less because they are failing math, need braces to correct their teeth, or aren’t good at football? Of course not! All of us have our obstacles and difficulties, some more than others. Honestly, the obstacles I see in any of my children makes me cheer for them even louder, do whatever I can to help them succeed and be the best they can be, while encouraging them with so much love....because they’re worth it!
God is good no matter the circumstance, no matter how muddy the water is you’re standing in, and no matter what statistics or “specialists” tell us!
I personally know a couple of Mommas and one Daddy that contemplated terminating the pregnancy due to the bombardment of negativity and scare tactics that they endured after their baby’s prenatal diagnosis.
There are countless pregnancies that have been terminated with this scenario. I do not judge anyone for a decision that has been made or contemplated. Judging another isn’t my job and thankfully never my position.
However, I feel my job (and heart’s desire) is to encourage another and educate anyone that will listen that medical specialists are human and makes mistakes.
A “specialist” misdiagnosed Savannah’s heart diagnosis. Just an hour after I was pressured to terminate my pregnancy (by the one that gave the misdiagnosis), I was told by a prenatal cardiologist that Savannah actually did have all four chambers of her heart and she may need a surgery to repair it in the future.
Sharing our lives publicly as a living testimony is a way to show others that living with the beauty of Down Syndrome isn’t scary. Listening to negative, inaccurate, and outdated statistics by one that doesn’t even know someone with “designer genes” or any type of special needs, however, is scary.
Down Syndrome doesn’t paralyze one’s life, it does the exact opposite. Down Syndrome breathes life into one’s existence. It connects souls from across the globe. Down Syndrome unites different races, genders, and religions. I’m so proud God placed me on this journey. I’m so glad Fear was defeated. (Until it raises its ugly head and defeated again!) I’m so glad the doctors can not even hear a murmur in Savannah’s heart and that open heart surgery is in the “rear view mirror”.
In the meantime, I will keep looking ahead as I drive forward, only looking back to remember the grace given and wisdom learned while seeing the beauty of my future in “my rear view mirror”.
“Hide This Cracked, Flawed Vessel”
I write about life and family. My heart's desire is to educate as I am being educated, while inspiring and encouraging others through the beauty of Down Syndrome.