Baby’s Got Down Syndrome, 3: Seeing in the Raw

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She has lovely grey-blue sparkling eyes with thick dark rings that are wider on the sides than the top and bottom, like a cat. They take on the world independently from one another, except on special occasions when she tilts her head back and they team up to inspect something.

Will she ever be able to tell me what she sees in those sparse moments? There was a time period, a year or so ago, when she was starting to talk. She could say bubble, all done, mama... and other things I can no longer recall without peeking in my journal. And I remember she could sign many words, but they, too, are lost now.

She communicates mostly by making noises. A cry or whine to get my attention, and then the frustrated "unt un" until I guess correctly what it is she wants. Every now and again she will use a sign or say a word, and when she does I am infused with a twinge of excitement.

At three, she is who she is. She is innocent simplicity. She is naked truth. She is incapable of pretense, or manipulation, and she cannot be comforted by a kiss on the wound. She can sit for hours on a chair, enjoying the everything and nothing going on around her, yet refuses to wait patiently even for a minute to have her needs met.

She is life in the raw, and I have come to see the immeasurable value of her ways.

When I was in my twenties, I had no desire to bear children. Knowing that all humans suffer imperfections, I was caught up in what might be wrong with them. Instinctively I knew they would be mirrors of my insecurities. But then, somewhere along the thirties, I was seized by the now or never fever, and the first of my precocious sons was born. Silly fears were cast aside and sweet vanity settled in.

Only to be shredded by the birth of the girl child who should have been a mini-me. Instead she was all that I was not, and that is all I could see. This was a terrible thing, a sorrowful thing, a humbling thing that over time stripped me of layer upon layer of life’s dysfunctional protective coverings. The more exposed I became, the more clearly I could see the real her. She is a beautiful compass that forever leads me true north, to Christ.

I am blessed to be the one trying to make those grey-blue eyes land on me.

Baby's Got Down Syndrome, 1: Lunch at Pizza Hut

Baby's Got Down Syndrome, 2: Crossing the NICU Styx

Baby's Got Down Syndrome, 3: Seeing in the Raw

Baby's Got Down Syndrome, 4: She Has My Legs

This is part three—check in tomorrow at noon for part four, the final story in this series.

Image and post by The Unknown Contributor. Used with permission.