Wednesday, January 24, 2018


My little boy is becoming independent.

As a mother in general, this is exciting.  Some mothers find it bittersweet as their "baby" needs them less and less.  I am not your typical mom-type, so I just feel more liberated with each step he takes toward his independence.

As a mother whose child has a "disability," this is even more rewarding.

I remember the moment the doctor came in to tell me the news that the little boy in my arms had Down syndrome.  I was informed with a tone that inferred dejection.  I was told with words that instructed me to lower my expectations for the tiny human being that just exited my own being.  The doctor's eyes seemed to express that it was understandable if I didn't love him.

But that was never the case.

Neither were all the other things I heard at that moment.  Sure I wondered about the possibilities of my little Braeden doing this or doing that very well, but I never, EVER lowered my expectations for him.  I never EVER thought it was okay not to love him with every cell in my body and from every beat of my heart.

I stopped trusting that doctor a few hours before Braeden was born, for other reasons, but that brief, yet potent conversation also removed any respect for that doctor as a decent human being.  

That is not the way to talk to a new mother about her child.  Nor is it, in any acceptable manner, a mindset to carry around in daily life.

However, I am realizing now as I type, that the doctor unconsciously challenged me with those words.  I knew instantly that the misguided energy behind them would not be a part of our life.  No way.  No how.

In fact, I have made it my duty to make sure that Brady P. is able to fulfill his potential on this planet.  He is nothing short of a superhero to me.  Nothing short of that.  I know he came here to help save the world.

And he will.

He is an independent, loving, charming, strong, curious, intelligent, motivated individual.

Okay, well, I didn't plan on telling you all that just now. It just escaped through my fingertips, so it must have its own purpose.  

My original plan was to tell you the last thing Braeden did to make me realize how independent he is becoming.  It was a first for us, and I owe it to Grammy and Grampy Wais.

They were here last weekend for a visit.  Nana and Grampy, as we call them, had him throwing snowballs and making snowmen on the front porch.  He loved it!

Throughout their visit here, I noticed him picking up more and more snow.  While he was afraid to touch it earlier in the winter, the fear recently shifted to curiosity, and now he is taking a liking to it.  He's getting all up in that snow with his little mittened hands.

So on our way home from school on Monday, we got to the top of porch.  "Okay, let's go in!" I told him.

He shook his head and grunted "no," while scraping some snow off the pile on the bench.  Usually he can't wait to get in from the cold.  Not Monday.

He insisted on staying out and playing in the snow.  He was exerting his preference and independence.

"Okay," I said.  "You can stay out and play, but I am going inside."

He didn't even hear me.  He was so absorbed in the snow pile.  I smiled and shook my head.  That little man.  Doing his thing.  "Let me know when you want to come in!"

So I went in, set my computer on the table facing the window, and watched him with one eye while I got something done for myself.  

It was liberating.

For us both.

We were each doing what we wanted to do.  He was outside, I was inside.  He was having a blast, I was being productive.  It made the single mom life seem less daunting, and prompted me to figure out how to fence in the yard, so he can do that in the summer time too.  He certainly loves to be outside.

So when he was all done about fifteen minutes later, he simply turned around, walked toward the door and knocked.  I chuckled at his perpetual cuteness and grace.

"Come on in!" I shouted, opening the door.  He stepped up the entrance, and I kissed his rosy cheeks.  "You played outside by yourself!" I told him.  "Thanks, Braeden."

I don't know exactly what he was thinking by then, but I sure hope it was something like, "I can't wait to do that again!" because I am excited for it too.

1 comment:

  1. I love kids enthusiasm to snow! It has the opposite affect on me. Isn't it crazy how something so small means so much to us?! I remember the first time I let Grant and Greta play alone in the living room while I cleaned up dinner. I felt like a new world opened up to me :)