I used to spend a enormous amount of time on what ifs. Weighing each decision based on various scenarios that I created in my head. As a mother of a special needs child, I was the queen of “what if”, which clouded the bigger picture. Some friends alerted me to an article about the fear of the unknown in raising a child with Down syndrome. I am by no means an expert on the subject, as I am still learning the ins and outs of this journey, but I do know that I am in a different place today than I was twenty years ago.
Looking back, I wonder why I was so frightened. The way this path has unfolded has given me tremendous lessons and filled me with a sense of accomplishment. I realize that his disability was never really the issue. Many times I am. My false sense of insecurity of how he will survive when I am gone or his unimaginable demise before I die, can leave me breathless. Here is the reality, Bailey is a rock star. He is proud of having Down Syndrome. He is a fierce protector of his ability to be independent. Gradually, pushed to the side, I realize that he is determined to live a typical life. He doesn’t see any barriers because this is who he is.
Oh, how I wished the world operated with his outlook. His confidence outshines anyone else that I have ever met. He has goals, dreams, and visions of his future just like any typical individual. The difference is there are no restrictions. There are no “what ifs” with him. He happily walks through life just grateful to be here. Will I still ponder the future with questions? Of course, I do that with my youngest too. It is called being a Mom, but the difference is I am more excited about his future today. The fear has been replaced by hope.