Last night B and I decided that we would talk with the kids about Owen's diagnosis. Not sure why this felt like the moment, but now that they have been around him a bit and seen that he is ok and that we have dodged so many medical issues, I felt like it was the right time.
We had bought the book We'll Paint the Octopus Red awhile ago and planned to use that to share with them. I hadn't created a lesson plan, we just felt like we would share the book and talk about how it connected with Owen and then see what questions they had.
I knew this was going to be interesting when it took several minutes to even get started reading because little ones needed drinks and snacks and such.
Kate asked if she could read the story, so she read it aloud as we all listened and watched. As we got through the book, we explained that Owen was like the little brother in the story and that he had Down syndrome. We said it might take him a bit longer to do some things, but that is why he would need our help and support and love.
Their response? Very little. They just kind of said ok and then went on about life.
Andy said something, totally unrelated to our conversation, that was funny and even Colton laughed at the moment. That is what I remember from our "talk." Moments of normal family life where kids are unpredictable and totally unaffected by the conversation that we had.
B and I just kind of laughed. Of course, I wasn't expecting a ton of questions at this point. I wasn't expecting sadness because they had no preconceived ideas about DS.
I wasn't expecting much, but I was expecting something.
As I thought about it the rest of the night, I reminded myself how this is really what I wanted. I wanted our kids to not bat an eye at this. I wanted them to take it with a grain of salt. I wanted them to see their brother and love on him and NOT think about DS.
That is the gift we have gotten from so many people, but most genuinely from our children.
O is their little brother. Period.
I LOVE that!
I am glad that it is "out there" so to speak so that if the kids hear something about it, they can ask questions. I never want this to be something we try to hide or that is taboo.
It is a part of our life now, but it is NOT our life.
The groundwork is laid and who knows what questions will spark along the way. Stay tuned for more on our journey!
Our journey through a prenatal Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) diagnosis and beyond
I wish it were possible to recognize at the beginning of our life’s story what an incredible journey we are truly on. If so, I would have sat down years ago and begun documenting all the ordinary and extraordinary events in this amazing life I have been blessed with. Sometimes, though, it may take just one more thing to open your eyes into the beauty of the life you have led and causes you to pause and truly count the blessings that are now so many they will never be enumerated.
If you are just joining us, please go back to September 2012 to get caught up.