Friday, April 5, 2013

Selfish

I've started to look ahead. 

Way ahead. 

Into the lives of other people, and how they fit into my own grand scheme for Samantha's future. 

Like a matchmaker of olden times (or lands far away), I've been scoping possible suitors.  It started when she was a baby. Getting to know the parents of little boys with Down syndrome - are they a suitable family? Will she be happy? Supported? She has no siblings, so this is of particular importance to me.  Weird, I know, as she's only 6, but I can only assume that this is a natural inclination for parents of children with intellectual disabilities?  Maybe?  (C'mon guys, don't leave me hanging.  I'm sure I can't be the only one...)    As she gets older, I am so much more comfortable with the idea that she'll be able to make those love matches for herself, with Mom and Dad keeping a close and watchful eye from a slight distance.

But my selfishness goes further than that.  It's not just the match of possible future love and marriage that I get caught up in, but the matches of friendship.  Of protection.  Of school support.  I keep a close eye on the little girls and boys in her grade who are good to her, who accept her as she is, who play with her unconditionally.  I keep an even closer eye on the older kids, the ones a grade or two ahead of her who have already learned something about acceptance and find her adorable and make her the object of their attentions.  Her reading buddy, C., in the 4th grade.  Our neighbor, R., in the 3rd grade.  Others. 

I start to do the silent, mental math, using my fingers to count out the years...will they still be in the same middle school when Samantha gets there?  Will they still be in the same high school?  Will they be the ones to stave off bullies, to take my baby under their protective wings and provide acceptance?  Will they set the example?

When I hear that one of them is moving away, my heart sinks. 

One down...

Now who else is there...?  I begin to watch carefully again, trying to identify the next Great Hope.

Yesterday, S., a little girl in the 2nd grade, the sweetest, kindest, most thoughtful child ever, sister to one of Samantha's classmates, gave Samantha a gift - a book, carefully stapled together along the side, written and painstakingly illustrated by her own hand, about Sammi the princess, who had to pick a new pet.  The inside page stated that it was dedicated to Samantha.  And, on the last page she wrote that we should stay tuned for Part 2.  It made me cry.  It was beautiful.  It will be treasured

And my mind spins...2nd grade.  Good.  She'll be there for my girl.

Selfish, I know. 

 
 

14 comments:

wendy said...

Don't feel alone I have and do the same thing.

Becky said...

Sammi will find her prince though...I know it. There will always be good people in our kids lives because they are good friends to others. They bring out the real people, and the ones I would want my older daughter to have as friends. Look at how much life has surprised you in such a wonderful way in the past six years. I am convinced it only gets better. I loved that book that girl made...what a thing to be cherished forever.

Stephanie said...

I've been doing this since O was born! You are not alone and it's not weird. We want to make sure they have a great life with people who love them--that's being a parent. I absolutely love that book! That is so kind of her friend--she's a keeper.

PS--I don't think Sammi is going to have any trouble finding a great guy. In fact she might have too many suitors to choose from!

goldenleaves said...

All of our Ds friends have little girls- I imagine them as BFF's when they get older and plan for them to get an apartment together. LOL!
I need somebody to have a boy real soon so Lauren can have her boyfriend picked out!

(See? You're not the only one!)

[REBECCA]scheerer said...

Wyatt already has a fiance...

And you are not the only one. I make the same mental lists and he is only 2!

Cindy said...

You are so not alone in this!! I did this with all my girls!

Chromosomally Enhanced said...

Wow I thought I was the only one! I do this will possible friends not just suitors...I just met a mom about my age with a kiddo and she is only a couple years older then Maddie! My heart fluttered and I instantly asked her if they planning on staying in our home town...She said yes and we became instant life friends...and now her daughter and Maddie share 2 days a week together in life therapy skills...they are friends and it put to bed some of my fears of her being alone in the terms of true friendship that only another person with an extra chromosome can understand...I now she will have friends but I want more than just a friend I want lifelong bonds for my kids...love the treasure that you all received...smiles

Jenny said...

Oh hell, I do this too Becca! I don't think it is selfish of us either. We love our children, want them protected and happy...We worry and plan for their future...Yup, it's all normal.
Glad you posted on this, it's always nice to hear other Mom's are thinking the same thoughts :)

Anonymous said...

Love your post. Found myself doing the same. Question though... How do you all handle the neighbors or peers that don't get it, ignore your child, exclude your child....?

CJ said...

I have to admit that I worry about it, but not as much as most people likely do because of Em's custody situation and how it is divided. I do worry about her. A lot.

But I figure we have gotten her this far, so hopefully that will continue to be the trend!

Anna said...

I too, do this. You are not alone. We just want our kids to have friends that love them for who they truly are. Oh, and I just recently made friends with a fellow blogger in Calgary who has a little boy with DS. I think both of us have married them off in our heads.

Rochelle said...

Sweet, not selfish at all. I pray all our kids have great kids surrounding them.

Becca said...

To Anonymous: Good question. Hmmm... I wouldn't want to *ignore* them right back, exactly, but I likely wouldn't press the issue. They'll be exposed to my child enough during in-passing encounters, and either they'll learn more just through casual interaction, or they'll live in their own ignorance. I just have to hope that my daughter's support system around her is strong enough to either sway those others through peer pressure, or just strong enough that those others just don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. I don't think it bothers her anywhere near as much as it bothers me, so I view it more as *my* problem. Oh, I write these words and hope, hope, hope I am true to them...easier said than done sometimes!!

e.Beth said...

what a wonderful little girl to make a book for Samantha! you should make friends with her parents, because they are obviously doing a great job with her.