New years often come with new beginnings. For me, it’s always been a pensive time-a time to focus inward and see what is working in my life and the lives of those closest to me, and what needs to be cast aside. I started this blog as a way of dealing with what I felt was a hammerblow of a diagnosis after my child was born with Down syndrome. I was desperate to let people know that she was still amazing, despite her disability. As I wrote, and as she grew, I realised that I really didn’t have anything to fear about. Down syndrome isn’t about disability, it’s merely a different way of seeing the world. Even after nearly five years, I still don’t always get that.
Last week, after another class where I was once again working on getting Mini to sit and wait her turn, her dance teacher turned to me and described her as “being so in tune with everything”. That gave me pause from my anxious grumblings that I was putting the teacher and the other students out in trying to contain my wild little ballerina. I had never thought of it like that, but that’s Mini-constantly on the move and seeking out new adventures. Her energy is a marvel and while I’m often worn out from it with the it’s an energy that is beautiful to behold. For Mini, she must experience everything she can-new friends to be made, new sensations to be had; like a dancer she weaves gracefully in and out of situations. I often wish I could be more like her, instead of the anxious, apologising mess I usually am. One thing Mini is not sorry for, is who she is. The more society can learn from people who are different, the better we will all be for it. We are not all cut from the same cloth and to put ourselves into other people’s shoes, even for a few seconds, is something my first born is constantly reminding me to do.
Her journey, however, is not mine to describe in vivid detail. Her mistakes are not mine to complain about. She is learning and growing and doing her best. I don’t want to embarrass her by having her life blown up on the web, forever there, forever accessible. She didn’t ask for that. Ditto with her sister. I am their mother, not their biographer. There is a line that needs to be drawn and I’m worried I have long since left it far behind; a distant speck on the parental horizon.
So what does this mean for the blog? To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure. Over the past four years this blog has been a revelation for me. It’s opened up a whole new world I always suspected was there but never dreamed I would experience. I’ve made friends, connections with people all around the world. I’ve won awards, which though aren’t important are very lovely to receive nonetheless. Most important of all, it’s allowed me to grow as an artist and that is something I value over everything else it has given me. I mean people who aren’t my family are actually reading what I write and a lot of them have told me they enjoy it! The chance to be creative and have others respond to something you have created is pretty mindblowing.
So for now I’ll keep going, knowing that this could be the beginning of the end, but feeling thankful for the hell of a journey it’s been so far.