Not long ago we were shopping at Target. The kids were being cute. And, well....kids. Ryan was in the cart demanding that we eat fruit snacks immediately. So I wandered away to leave Greg with the responsibility of saying no. (I'm a great wife.)
Then I was trying to corral Lauren and get her to stop acting like your average 1 year old...trying to throw herself out of my arms and knock down entire displays of gum and candy. A younger woman (probably early 30's) came over and was just staring at Lauren. She finally said, "You are so lucky." There was such reverence in her voice. Such wistfulness.
I wonder at the backstory because clearly there is one. Did she lose a little one? A little one with Down syndrome? I got the vibe that it was a "Down syndrome thing".
What if every expectant and new mother was told she was lucky? What if the doctors, instead of offering termination, expressed awe at the miracle of a life created? What if they said, "Your child will have a great life with the love you have to offer as her mom."
What if we said it to moms who have kids with autism? Cerebral palsy? Down syndrome? DiGeorge? Skeletal dysplasia? The list could go on and on and on.
What if we said it to moms with typical kids? So often you hear the warnings of "Wait until he's 16." Children are not a burden. Children are a gift.
As parents we have the tremendous responsibility and the honor of raising our children to be productive members of society. That looks different for some kids than for others. I never want my kids to feel that they were a burden for even one minute.
(Note: The above statement does not apply to potty training.)
My parents did an awesome job at this. Even when I dicked around in college and spend a ridiculous amount of my parents' money to eat cheap Chinese food and not go to class, I never felt like a burden to them (although I probably should've). They did an amazing job and letting us know that we were loved and yet also we grew up knowing that the world didn't owe us anything. I feel lucky to be their kid and I know they feel like they got the good end of the bargain.
My point is, I AM lucky. I am blessed. I am grateful. I am a parent. Becoming a parent happens in so many avenues. Pregnancy. Surrogacy. Adoption. Foster care. Mentoring.
Whether your kids has one too many chromosomes or one too few or just the right amount. You. Are. Lucky.