Sunday, July 15, 2007

"A Life Like Yours"

I had a conversation with an amazing woman named Jennifer yesterday. Jennifer is 39 years old, and has Down Syndrome. Samantha and I attended the picnic for the Arc of Northern Virginia in Fairfax. Jennifer came up to us and introduced herself and asked if she could sit on the grass with us for a while. I said absolutely. Now, I have never spoken to anyone else with DS over the age of about 1. Frankly I was a little nervous. I guess because I didn't know what to expect. I've wanted to speak to an adult, but there's always that fear of the unknown. Will I be able to understand them? Will I be disappointed in the glimpse into Samantha's future? Will it be awkward? I can only say how grateful I am for the opportunity Jennifer gave us yesterday. She is an amazingly articulate, bright, self-aware woman, and I was absolutely drawn to her. I was disappointed when she had to leave. She asked a lot of questions about Samantha's development, and spoke about some of her own. She said that she was glad to see I kept Samantha, as her mother had chosen to keep her. It makes me teary-eyed to think about that. I would never have had it any other way. She, too, had had heart surgery to correct a defect when she was young. I asked her if she works, and she said that she has been working at one of the government agencies (I think it might have been the EPA, but I can't remember now) downtown for the last 10 years (and just received her 10-year pendant!) and takes the bus and the metro every day to get to work. I wish I could remember more of the conversation, but just the overall feeling of 'fulfillment' for having spoken to her is mainly what remains. I told her and her mother about the DSANV picnic in 2 weeks, and hope to see them there. I expressed my happiness at having met her, but wish I had told her what an impression she had made on me. I hope she knows anyway.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Single Mom

Well, not really. It's just temporary. Sadly, Steve's father in England is very ill and he left Wednesday night to go see him. I'm sorry Samantha and I couldn't join him, but it just wasn't possible. He should be back next Thursday night. My thoughts are with Sid.

I must say, though, the last 3 days have felt like 3 months. Not because anything's been a chore--on the contrary--Samantha's an absolute joy as always, and so much fun to be around. It's just because it's strange without Steve here and we both miss him terribly. And I'm not quite sure what to do with the power I'm afforded by holding that little mechanism known as a "remote control". And exactly how does that thing in the kitchen work? You know, the one that has the 4 pretty little fires on it and the cute little door on the front?

I am impressed with myself, however. On Thursday I took Samantha to the home daycare we used to take her to back before her surgery last year. Somehow I managed to get myself ready for work, get her up, dressed and fed, take her to Mrs. Yasin's house and still catch my bus and get to work on time! I was so worried about Sam, though. This was the first time she'd been away from us for any period of time since last September. Being the over-protective mom that I am, I asked my own mother to call Mrs. Yasin to see how Samantha was doing. Of course, I wanted it to look like I wasn't the one checking up on her. But before I could get the news from mom, I broke down and called her myself. The report was glowing, and apparently she did very, very well and played with the other kids. I'm so proud of her!

I took yesterday off because she had 2 therapy appointments scheduled that I didn't want her to miss, so I'm having a 3-day stay-at-home mommy-fest! I love it, but it would be better if the stay-at-home daddy were here, too.

Daddy, we totally miss you. Come home soon!!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl
Originally uploaded by
sammi's mom
Samantha celebrated her 1st birthday on May 30, 2007. We had a quiet celebration with Grandma and Grandpa over for dinner. Sam had very little interest in the presents (which were lovely) other than crinkling up the wrapping paper and throwing it. She ate a few little bites of birthday cake, but because she doesn't chew yet, we had to keep it to a minimum. The week before her birthday, she was invited to her first birthday party by Matthew Ray, a little boy who just happens to have the same birth date! I still can't believe she's 13 months old already. The last year has been really fast and I'm astounded by all of the changes she's gone through in such a short period of time. She's no longer a baby, but is every bit a little girl!

My First Blog

Welcome to the Bates Motel!

This is my first blog posting, and I hope that I can keep it going! My plan is to be able to chronicle our lives, as mundane as they may be, and to celebrate Samantha's life, growth and accomplishments. Feel free to contact me at any time, and feedback will be greatly appreciated!