Today I thought I’d share just a glimpse of what our lives are like with our daughter who happens to have Down Syndrome.
Every morning as I lie in bed peacefully and am awoken by my babe from across the hall, I think to myself, “Where in the world did you come from?!”
Not from your parents, obviously.
Annie is different than us. She is MOST different in the morning. If any of you know her parents and have been around us when we wake up, you know how important it is to stay clear until after that shower or two shots of espresso. We’re not morning people. And that’s an understatement. We’ve never had that spring in your step, can’t wait for this day to begin attitude upon the sun’s beckoning to get up and start the day. Somehow though, Annie does. And it’s awesome.
With Annie, I no longer wake up to that god awful annoying buzzing of a mechanical device. Instead Annie has become my signal that it’s time to start the day.
This is how our mornings go…..(EVERY TIME)
When Annie wakes up she immediately sits up and begins clapping. She gets a super goofy grin on her face and claps her heart out (it’s super adorable and hilarious at the same time because at this point she still has that drunk from sleep look in her eyes). Once she’s come to a bit more, she lets out the most tremendous shout of joy. It’s not a worried cry or a “Hey, I’m up. Hurry and get me you lazy parents!” It’s more like she’s half laughing and calling out “Hey Mom! Isn’t this great it’s time to start playing again!” And though the clapping is what initially wakes me up, this joyous shout is my signal to go and get her.
And so each morning either Mike or I sleepily crosses the hallway to her nursery and are met with the world’s smiliest babe. It’s like light radiates out of her more than ever in the morning. She’s the sunshine that had been missing from our old crabby mornings. Sometimes Mike and I playfully fight to be the one to go and get her. That first glimpse of her in her crib when she knows you’re coming is the best.
The next part of our morning though is gold. Whichever parent gets her from across the hall brings her in to crawl into her parents’ bed with them for that “just ten more minutes” we always need. And as soon as we’re all three snug together under the covers with Annie in the middle, she reaches out those arms. She HAS to be touching us both. Arms outstretched to find our shoulders or our chins. She then lays between us completely awake and softly rubs our arms. It’s like she’s saying, “It’s okay, I know you’re tired. I can wait and while I do I’ll help by massaging you with my soothing touch.” And so for ten minutes or so we start our day together. Just the three of us joined every morning by Annie’s magic touch.
And then it doesn’t matter which parent moves first. As soon as one of us gets up, Annie is immediately sitting straight up and laughing, immediately signing for “milk”. And so the three of us get up to move on to breakfast. Her energy and enthusiasm for the morning is completely contagious. With her we can’t help but be ready for the day.
About a year ago I wrote this post about how Annie really did smile all the time but that I could never catch it on camera. I was ecstatic when I finally caught her smile on film for the first time and wrote this…https://ourromababy.com/2011/10/05/caught-it/
Now I don’t have to worry about catching that smile. If I wanted to I could catch it a million times every morning. Here’s this morning…
Annie makes me strive a little harder for this kind of happiness. She inspires me to embrace and, more importantly, enjoy each and everyday. She’s changed my life in so many ways. But mostly she makes me LOVE mornings.