Happy Birthday, Mary Beth!

10 Apr

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Mary Beth! Today you are 2 years old! They have been the two happiest years of Daddy’s & my life together. You are smart, pretty, strong willed, and you have a big personality with a magical imagination. We love you THIS MUCH! And even more than that!

You were 14 months old when we learned you would be a big sister. We would watch you play and always imagined how much fun you would have if you had a little brother or sister to play with. That dream was finally coming true in June of last year. We tried to explain as well as we could that Mommy was having a baby and that you would be a BIG SISTER. As the months went by, you understood more and more. You would run to me, lift my shirt, press your cheek to my belly, and say, “Wose-a-wee!” It just melts my heart thinking about it.

As Rosalie’s birth grew closer, the normal feelings of guilt and fear started to creep into my head. I remember one night very close to when Rosalie was born, I just cried and cried because I worried that you will feel abandoned or loved less once your sister was born. But I would usually remind myself that everything would be okay, we would all do our best to help you not feel that way and you are too young to remember what is going on anyway.

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We were so excited for you to meet Rosalie for the first time. Since Rosalie was in the NICU, the conditions were not ideal. You only got to see her through the glass. When you first saw her, Daddy was holding her in the NICU and mommy was outside with you. You were happy for a minute but then when you realized you couldn’t get through the glass to get to your daddy, you were not a happy camper. Once we were able to bring Rosalie home and you were able to see that we were now a family of four, you were much happier.

So many thoughts have crossed my mind since Rosalie was born and we were told she has Down syndrome. Would Rosalie be the little sister we always imagined for you? Would you & Rosalie still do all the fun things that sisters do together? I would always picture you & Rosalie playing together in the playroom. Then a feeling of panic would come over me when I thought, “but Rosalie has Down syndrome.” And let me be completely honest here. I DO still feel that pain. Let’s be real, it has only been 12 weeks so this is something that I still worry about and maybe always will, I don’t know. But now, even though I may still feel that way, I know in my head I shouldn’t. Because you know what? You and Rosalie are still going to play together in the playroom! You will still fight and argue. You will still be able to share a room if you want. You will still be able to play dolls together. You will still be able to run through sprinklers in the backyard. You will still watch movies together. You will still share clothes. You will even still be able to go on dates together. You will.

My prayer is that you will be her best friend and her protector. Love her and see her for who she really is. And Rosalie IS NOT Down syndrome. She is your sister. Include her. I pray that as you grow, I will be able to answer your questions about Rosalie and Down syndrome in the best way possible. I pray that you will not look at your sister any differently when you learn about Down syndrome. And I pray that you will have patience with her. She may take a little longer to do things, so give her the time and space that she needs. Do all of these things and I promise that you will share a stronger love and bond with your sister than you ever imagined.

I just found this blog written by a woman whose brother has Down syndrome and it made me so happy. I hope one day you will be able to write something wonderful about having a sister who also happens to have Down syndrome.

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