Ruby at Three

June 18, 2011 · 6 comments

Ruby, my daughter with Down Syndrome, just turned three. I wanted to share her with you but the girl is just too fast and won’t let me take a decent photograph! So you’ll just have to catch her in motion.

My husband and I spent some time talking about her birth and how that played out in different ways for both of us. I even closed up and deleted my last blog through it all (so I wouldn’t be tempted to blog more; I needed space and my husband needed me).  The journey through it all was fruitful for both of us, and we have no regrets for traveling on that road (even though, of course, we never would have planned it!  Who plans for detours?!).

Sometimes I forget that she has Down Syndrome. But then I’m reminded when she does something like just walking out the door and heading down the road and I know she might still do that when she’s 14. Or 42. She will always need someone to look out for her.

She has health risks and challenges that I need to stay on top of, and I’m still trying to read everything and teach myself how to best help her. I think every mother with a special needs child totally understands how mommy is the first line of defense, or offense, as needed in the care of their child.

Her five siblings love her very much. Even though Ruby sees a neurodevelopmentalist several times a year, her siblings are her “therapists”. They play with her, talk with her, read to her, and encourage her in things like kicking or riding a tricycle or forming words.

At three, she is the size of where my other children were at two. She is just different. I am so thankful she is well and growing. I’ve read enough blogs of other mommies with Down Syndrome children who have tragic problems and even early deaths to know that every day is truly a gift. I rejoice every day I have her with us.  And I rejoice when I meet other moms who choose to give their pre-born babies with Down Syndrome (or “fill in the blank with whatever scary diagnosis you can think of”) life outside the womb.  Life is such a gift, a miracle, even in different packages.

Ruby has Down Syndrome but she also has our hearts. Happy birthday, Ruby Mae!


On Siblings

March 15, 2011 · 1 comment

I could hear the screaming from across the house, it’s piercing vibrating the atmosphere of the house through the walls. The formerly obedient little brother decided to flex his self-determination muscles and his bigger sister was not real pleased with that. I actually found it a big comical. Because I remember being the bigger sister with a little brother who annoyed me, mostly because he didn’t want to play things my way. Or get out of my room.

Usually I let them figure it out on their own, with “choices”. Like, “you can disagree with each other but the rest of the family doesn’t need to hear it.” Or, “I can see you’re both having a hard time. Why not NOT play together for a while?” I find that if I take sides, whatever side it is, trying to solve the issue, the peace bought is shallow and short-lived. I’m more stealth than that. I find jobs they have to do together (dustpan and broom) or rewards they can share (popcorn if they beat the timer cleaning up an area together). I school them together, allowing for happy banter while we use scissors or markers. I might even whisper, “Pssst….let’s surprise your brother by making a few paper airplanes. He won’t even GUESS who did it!”

I think our children have good relationships with one another. With six children, there are multiple relationships always going on at the same time (each child having a different dynamic with each of the five other children). It pleases me to see them interact with one another; I’m confident that they will be very close as adults. After all, when you spend all day every day with your brothers and sisters under the watchful eyes and ears of loving parents, it’s hard not to just let go of the dumb thing argued about and just get out a board game.

Quantity time with one another is the best relationship builder. Are your children spending enough time with each other?


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