Tuesday, January 14, 2014

My husband's mini

p>Welcome to the January 2014 Carnival of Natural Parenting: The More Things Stay the Same

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about the continuity and constancy in their lives. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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Want to know a secret? Most people who know my husband well think our preschooler looks soooo much like him, and his high school friends call that son my husbands "mini". But the truth is that he also has a fair amount of my dad's looks. No, based on comparing baby photos, our baby with Down syndrome looks even more like his Dad than big brother!
It's easy to notice the differences with Down syndrome. The eye shape. Delayed milestones. Smaller size. But there's so much more to my son, and to all people with Down syndrome-or any disability or medical condition- than that. And with a closer look at my baby, it's pretty obvious he's truly OUR baby in so many ways. 

In how he tries to escape from diaper changes using the same moves as his brother. 
The way he makes the same facial expressions as me for selfies. 
His love of mashed potatoes, peppermint Oreos, coconut ice cream, ground beef with taco seasoning, and fresh pears. 
His determination. 
His sense of humor. 
The way he calms when I sing. 
How noisy he is when he wants to join in the conversation too. 
His love of knocking down towers made of blocks. 
The way he snuggles into my shoulder. 
The way he reaches for his Dad...and then for Dad's glasses. 

In all these things, I see not his extra chromosome, but how similar he is to my husband, older son and I. 

My preschooler's current favorite TV star, Daniel Tiger says, "in some ways we are different, but in so many ways, we are the same!" and I think that sums it up well. We all have differences, and they are sometimes easy to find if that is what you are interested in focusing on.  But when it comes down to it, the differences are inevitably less than the similarities. This last year we have been learning what Down syndrome means for our son and our family, and the underwhelming answer is that, while yes, it does make a difference in our life and his, for the most part, for our day to day life, it really isn't a big deal. He is so much like our older son at the same stage of life, and the two of us, if the stories from our baby days are true!

His high school friends may not know it yet, but my husband has two minis...and number two is going to give number one a run for his money as they both grow into wonderful men who are unique but also so like their father.

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Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be updated by afternoon January 14 with all the carnival links.)

  • The making of an artist — Some kids take longer than others to come into themselves, so you have to stick with them, as a parent, long after everyone else has given up, writes Douglas at Friendly Encounters.
  • Not Losing Yourself as a First Time Mom — Katie at All Natural Katie continues to stay true to herself after becoming a new mom.
  • Using Continuity to Help Change {Carnival of Natural Parenting} — Meegs from A New Day talks about how she is using continuity in certain areas of her life to help promote change and growth in others.
  • Staying the Same : Security — Life changes all the time with growing children but Mother Goutte realised that there are other ways to 'stay the same' and feel secure, maybe a bit too much so!
  • Harmony is What I'm AfterTribal Mama gushes about how constant change is really staying the same and staying the same brings powerful change.
  • A Primal Need For Order and Predictability – And How I Let That Go — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares how she overcame her primal need for order and predictability once her awareness shifted, opening her eyes to the impact this had on her young daughter. Take a short journey with Jennifer and she bares her soul, exposes her weaknesses and celebrates her new outlook and approach to living life, even in the face of total chaos.
  • Breastfeeding Before and After — Breastfeeding has come and gone, but Issa Waters at LoveLiveGrow finds that her relationship with her son is still just the same and just as good.
  • A Real Job — Back in high school That Mama Gretchen had a simple, but worthwhile career aspiration and today she is living her dream … is it what you think?
  • Comfortingsustainablemum never thought she would want things always being the same, but she explains why it is exactly what her family wants and needs.
  • The Other Mums' and The Great IllusionMarija Smits reflects on the 'great big magic show of life' and wonders if it will continue to remain a constant in our lives.
  • Unschooling: Learning doesn't change when a child turns four — Charlotte at Winegums & Watermelons talks about the pressure of home education when everyone else's children are starting school.
  • Finding Priorities in Changing Environments — Moving from Maine to a rural Alaskan island for her husband's military service, Amy at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work found that keeping consistent with her priorities in changing environments can take some work, but is vital to continuous health and happiness.
  • Keeping it "Normal" — Kellie at Our Mindful Life has moved several times in the last two years, while doing her best to keep things stable for her kids.
  • The Evolution Of Our Homeschool Journey — Angela at Earth Mama's World reflects on her homeschooling journey. Homeschooling is a constant in the life of her family but the way in which they learn has been an evolution.
  • Sneaking in Snuggles: Using Nurturing Touch with Older Children — When Dionna at Code Name: Mama's son was a toddler and preschooler, he was the most loving, affectionate kiddo ever. But during the course of his 5th year, he drastically reduced how often he showed affection. Dionna shares how she is mindfully nurturing moments of affection with her son.
  • Steady State — Zoie at TouchstoneZ writes a letter to her partner about his constancy through the rough sailing of parenting.
  • A Love You Can Depend On — Over at True Confessions of a Real Mommy, Jennifer has a sweet little poem reminding us where unconditional love really lies, so it can remain a constant for us and our children.
  • Same S#!*, Different Day — Struggling against the medical current can certainly get exhausting, especially as the hunt for answers drags on like it has for Jorje of Momma Jorje.
  • New Year, Still Me — Mommy Bee at Little Green Giraffe writes about how a year of change helped her rediscover something inside herself that had been the same all along.
  • One Little Word for 2014 — Christy at Eco Journey In The Burbs has decided to focus on making things this year, which is what she is loves, as long as she doesn't kill herself in the process.
  • The Beauty of Using Montessori Principles of Freedom and Consistency — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares the continuity of her teaching, parenting, and grandparenting philosophy using a combination of freedom and consistency.
  • My Husband's MiniCrunchy Con Mom shares which of her sons looks more like her husband's baby pictures — and the answer might surprise you!
  • Growth Happens When You Aren't Looking — Lori at TEACH through Love is treasuring these fleeting moments of her daughter's early adolescence by embracing the NOW.
  • A New Reality Now - Poem — As Luschka from Diary of a First Child struggles to come to terms with the loss of her mother, she shares a simple poem, at a loss for more words to say.
  • Making a family bedroom — Lauren at Hobo Mama has decided to be intentional about her family's default cosleeping arrangements and find a way to keep everyone comfortable.
  • New Year, Same Constants — Ana at Panda & Ananaso takes a look at some of the things that will stay the same this year as a myriad of other changes come.
  • I Support You: Breastfeeding and Society — Despite how many strides we've taken to promote "breast is best," Amy at Natural Parents Network talks about how far we still have to go to normalize breastfeeding in our society.

5 comments :

Lauren Wayne said...

I love it! And it's so true. We can focus on what's different so much more easily, but it's so meaningful to look at what our individual children have in common with each other and with us.

Dionna @ Code Name: Mama said...

I *love* seeing how alike Ailia and Kieran are to each other and us. What a sense of unity :)

Deb Chitwood said...

Beautiful post! I loved reading about all the similarities. :)

Christy said...

So very true! If more people thought about our similarities and how we are all connected we would feel less pressure, less judgement and be happier. Thank you for the reminder.

Momma Jorje said...

Its been the entire theme for the National Down Syndrome Congress this year! More Alike Than Different... and it is so true!

Spencer has had some special problems, but most are ones that can can and do effect typical children. And even if delayed, he generally follows the same order of development as my other children.

And, as you said it, our day-to-day lives... he is definitely more alike than different. Same / Same.

Great post!