I’d like to think that I’m one resilient person, that I can quickly handle any change and any challenge that comes in my way, and move on. But the year 2011 has been so unfair to me, both professionally and personally — changes and challenges bombarded me from all directions that I feel like I just want to hide from the world and just scream, “Enough!”
I’m glad that my kids aren’t too affected by my issues. My cutie-pies. Mr. smart-boy Eric is as busy as ever. For this month and the next, he’ll have his first ever piano exam for Grade One, his Taekwondo upgrading for yellow belt, becoming a ring-bearer for his aunty’s wedding, and extra band practice… all this during his supposed school break. I wonder from time to time whether all this is too much for him, but he said he wanted to do all these extra-curricular activities, so I’m letting him go ahead with them. Any time he wants to stop, I told him, it’ll be okay with me.
I tend to call Joel by his first name more frequently now. And he writes and recognizes his own name now, yeah! He speaks very clearly now, too. Always the mild tempered boy just as he was before. One pleasant surprise I’m seeing in him is his sense of humour. He’s my Mr. Funny Boy.
Ezra. Never the one to cool down. Just this morning as Joel, Ezra and myself spent a nice sunny morning having breakfast at a cafe, he threw another of his infamous temper, because I refuse to let him wash his hands after doing so for the umpteenth time. His screeching scream was followed by him lying down on the coffee-stained floor, spinning himself on his back as I tried to soothe him and asked him to calm down. Thank God the supervisor had recognized us by now as the frequent patrons of the shop, and she actually laughed seeing him do that. I would have laughed at him too if wasn’t for the crazy stares I was getting from the other people in the cafe. And the fact that the monster of a scream was coming from that little boy I call my son. Mr. Hot-Tempered.
Look at that picture of Edry right over there, isn’t he adorable?! He’s my Mr. Happy Boy. I can’t believe he’s turning one year old next month! He looks just as handsome as my sons. *Sighs* … this kid makes me so happy. He’s a momma’s boy, this champ. He wriggles in excitement and reaches his arms out to me every single time he sees me, without fail. Every single time. And with the biggest smiles, too! None of my kids were ever that excited when seeing me while they were still babies, so I think the amount of excitement Happy Boy shows me more than makes up for his brothers’ lack thereof. My little crawler is working to strengthening his upper body and balance so that he can sit up by himself. I’m thinking in 6 months’ time, he’s ready for standing.
We’ve just completed our first ever Annual General Meeting for the Down Syndrome Association Kota Kinabalu (PSDKK). Even right now I’m putting some finishing touches on some documents and the meeting minutes to be distributed to the members. It got me thinking of the parents in my community who just had babies with Down syndrome, and how much I’d wanted to make an information packet to address this matter.
It led me to my memories when I first had Edry, and the fear and uncertainty I had during those early days.
So, here I am, tears streaming down my face as that familiar fear creeps back into my heart. There’s that self-doubt again. All those medical complication that a child with Down syndrome are susceptible to may creep up later in life… can I handle it? Can he? Physical and intellectual development challenges are also waiting for them. How? When? What am I to do? Will he work? Will he count? Will he understand the complexities of life?
And yet, raising Edry has been a breeze… how could it be? I’m trying to remember the struggle I had to endure to raise Edry. And I could remember none. At least no struggle that is any different from what I’ve faced when raising my other children. How could it be so easy for me?
I shouldn’t be asking these things. I should, instead, count my blessings. Because, at the end of the day, the reality is, I’m not raising a child with Down syndrome. I am raising Edry.
So it’s okay. He’s okay. I’m okay.
It’s going to be okay.