Tonight I held my baby and danced barefoot around my kitchen while Taylor Swift played in the background and dairy-free macaroni and cheese cooked on the stove. (The mac-n-cheese was mediocre at best.) This moment held so much happiness that I immediately changed the Pandora station from T Swift to worship music and felt the level of joy increase exponentially. I held Avalynn closer and closed my eyes and drank in the moment and committed it to memory. While Avalynn was not as moved as I was (the ceiling fan was way too interesting), I knew this was a time I would not want to forget.
This was something that was good for the soul and could not have come at a better time. I got frustrated just hours earlier because she seemed to be crying for no apparent reason. I shoved her at John and went into the other room and cried. I know it has to happen to every mom, but when you reach the point where you think you just Can. Not. Handle. your kid anymore, it hurts. It hurts to feel like you’re not a good mom. It hurts to feel any kind of negative feeling towards your child. After I laid on the bed in the dark for a few minutes, John brought Ava in and said he needed to use the bathroom, what should he do? I reached out my arms for her, and he laid her next to me on the bed. As soon as I looked at that beautiful, little face, all my frustration melted away. How can anyone not be excited upon seeing their baby after being away from them for even a minute? Every day as soon as I get home from work, I eagerly scoop her up and get to work on making her smile. I’m delighted every morning when she wakes up because I get to hold her and play with her. The frustrated moments are there, yes, but they are few and far between. The good moments far outweigh the bad.
Last weekend, we went to a holiday party hosted by a local group we’ve joined, Down Syndrome Association of the Lowcountry. There were children and their families there from all around Charleston. It was so great to see a glimpse of what Ava’s future could hold. Each child (ranging in age from Ava to older teens) was so full of glee as they danced along to the music and interacted with each other. I watched a boy and a girl meet each other on the dance floor and end up dancing together all night. I watched a young girl walk around to all of the babies and introduce herself. I watched all of the parents bask in the joy that our children can bring to a room. I know that eventually we will have trials to overcome regarding Ava’s development and school and who knows what else, but why worry about those things now when there’s so many things to be thankful for and rejoice in? I thank God for the path He has led us down, no matter how many bumps we’ve encountered along the way.
P.S. I’ve decided this post should be filled with all things happy, so here are some pictures of Avalynn that make me laugh. (She regularly lifts her butt and legs off the ground during tummy time and it cracks me up.)