Did I ever mention that our amazing, wonderful, loving friends did a charity golf event back in September to help cover Fiona's medical bills? It happened to be on a weekend when we were back up at the hospital for Fiona's little blood oxygen level scare. Also, at the time when my computer was not working, so I was not blogging as much. The outcome was overwhelming and the number of people who cared for our family blew me away. We have been blessed with support in every area. So why I am I bringing this up now? Well, for one because since I missed the golf event, I wasn't able to get the addresses of everyone who attended and I have a stack of thank yous waiting to be sent that are now outdated. So, for anyone who didn't receive a written thank you, that happens to read this, send me your address... and thank you from the bottom of my heart! The other reason is that a very large bag of Down syndrome bracelets sits in our cabinet. A bag of bracelets that came the day after the event that we had bought to give to each participant. My husband and I wear one everyday. And we have passed some along to friends and family- Fiona loves to play with and chew on our bracelets, so it has also come in handy as an emergency peace-making toy.
Today, my husband went golfing. He took with him a handful of the bracelets and passed them out to everyone he came in contact with. That's my husband- Mr. Outgoing. I love this about him. He is truly my other half- my outgoing half. We fell into parenthood unexpectedly, and were not given an easy road. But he impresses me everyday with how gracefully he slid into the position as the head of our household. He is our rock. And I melt when I see him with our kids. Especially Fiona. My handsome, cool, life of the party husband turns into the most tender, caring, protective, proud man around her. He is sooo proud of her. And while I shout it from the computer, he shouts it from the roof tops. Because he is that kind of guy.
Well, today, I got pushed out of my comfort zone. Today, I had to use my voice (which came out sounding like a 12 year old girl) and speak my words from the roof top- or more over the airwaves. NDSS came to me about a week ago and asked if I would help promote their My Great Story campaign in the SWFL area. I quickly said YES! and was ecstatic to help them in anyway. But as I sat in the waiting room today of the radio station, the butterflies found their way to my belly. And I swear you can hear them fluttering if you listen closely to the broadcast.
Fiona was a rock star for her first live public experience. You can hear her chatting up a storm in the background. We were joined by Dr. Brian Skotco from the Boston area, a children's cognitive development specialist who helped fill in the more scientific and statistical information. It was an exhilarating experience that I am proud that I did for our daughter. She, of course, wooed everyone at the station.
The rest of the day was spent letting the butterflies find their way out of my stomach and just enjoying yet another beautiful southwest Florida day. Ice cream, burgers (um, in that order), a long walk to the other side of the mall in the warm sunshine and over bumpy boardwalk bridges (love the outdoor malls) and looking through Thomas the Train books with my boys. Soaking in the toddler conversation and my princess's beautiful smile. You know, just another normal day.
A year ago I was nursing the freshly opened wound of Fiona's diagnosis. Reading, researching, learning, growing (figuratively and literally). And what I found was that there really is no easy road in life. No one gets handed a perfect hand. Some are slightly more difficult then others, but it doesn't matter what hand you get dealt, it matters how you play it. And I think we are making the best use out of ours. My eyes, my arms, my heart are open. I love stronger, feel harder, and care deeper then ever before.
I was asked today what I want for my daughter. The same thing every parent wants for their child. For her to reach her maximum potential. And just like any good, loving parent, I will teach her, encourage her, and push her to be the best Fiona she can be. Each day, she becomes more interactive with her big brothers. I thank God that he gave me them first to be her guidance in life. I watch her eyes follow their every movement, just absorbing each thing and I know shes learning. Soaking it all in till the right moment when she discovers she can do it just like her big brothers. "I will do it as you do, just at my own pace"- unknown
To hear the radio broadcast, go to the Radio section at the top of the blog. We are the second part of the program.