Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Birthday Cohen

Dear Cohen,

Today you are two. People like to tell me that you're an angel (you're not) and that you are adorable (you are). You get a lot of attention. Everywhere we go people have expectations for you, many of them based on the shape of your eye. I have them too. Mine are higher than most, because I see in you such wonderful potential. I want things for you that a lot of people say are impossible. I thought you'd walk before your second birthday, but you haven't yet, and it's okay. I want you to do things your way. I simply want the same things for you that I want for your siblings: to make this world a little kinder and a little more beautiful. And I want you to find joy in the journey, Cohen.

I am so proud to be your mama. If you become the world's first doctor with Down syndrome I will be so proud to be your mama. And if you want to work at the grocery store and bag like a champion I will be so proud to be your mama. Or if you're a fireman like your daddy, or a banker, or a janitor, or a senator, I will be so proud to be your mama. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I am going to do my best to give you the tools to move on and then I'll do my best to move out of your way so you can do life your way.

Today you like to toilet paper the bathroom and eat things that aren't entirely edible. Today you are two.

I love you,

Sunday, October 13, 2013

impressing you

I often, after meeting a new person, spend a lot of time contemplating whether or not I have made a good impression. I replay the conversations over in my head- what went well, what I should have said here and there, and all the times I interrupted or spoke too quickly. Really, it's not just after meeting a new person, it's almost every time I have a conversation with someone outside my own family. I have thought for a long time that I am just naturally shy and that is why I am uncomfortable in social settings, but recently I had an epiphany: The reason social interactions are so nerve-wracking for me is that I am completely focused on myself. My self-absorption keeps me worried: I think this person is really (nice, cool, well-educated, or fill in the blank...) and I want so badly for them to think the same of me that I miss out on the actual relationship! I constantly try to find points that we have in common- it's almost like I'm yelling "See! Look! I'm nice (or cool or well-educated or whatever thing I admire about you) too!

I want to try a new way. I want to find the beauty in others and celebrate it. I want to change my focus from trying to make people like me, to just loving them.