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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Year Before She's a Teen

Kayla turned 12 today.

I'm sure I say it each year - about how true it is that the days are long and the years are short. It's a cliche, but it never seems more true than when you are raising kids.

Twelve years ago I had no idea. Simply no idea who that little tiny baby placed in my arms was. All I could think was, "She has Down syndrome. I can tell by her eyes, she has Down syndrome."

I didn't know what that meant. I didn't know who she was as my daughter. I didn't know who she would become - I still don't (who knows what the future holds for any child).

I know I have many flaws as a parent, but what I do know is I have done my best (ok maybe not always, there are a lot of things I wish I could have a do-over!) to raise her without limitations, without labels. I have tried to raise her, helicopter-style mom and all, to grow in to who she is. I've tried to offer her every opportunity.

She's getting there. She is becoming this independent person. This beautiful soul. The daughter I was supposed to have.

I'm not ready to face the teen years. I wish we weren't on the verge of it already! "They" said that when you have a child with Down syndrome you get to enjoy them being a child for longer. In some ways that's true - she's not socially always on par with her peers. But in a lot of ways it's not true. She still turns a year older each year. She is still creeping ever forward to becoming a teenager and then a young adult.

I'm looking forward to watching all that she becomes.

Happy 12th birthday Kayla!

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Nan said...

What a beautiful, beautiful soon-to-be young woman! With the same slightly crooked smile that makes her Kayla (at least from my blog-viewing point of view).

Grandma said...

I have the most beautiful, precious granddaughter!! I can't imagine my life without her in it. She has opened my eyes and heart in ways I never thought possible.

Denise Pequignot said...

Exactly how I feel-but Im not good with words. Happy bday Beautiful
Sydney and Denise

Bonita said...

Happy Birthday, Kayla!!!

She's so beautiful! I'm so glad I found your blog years ago and couldn't resist those big blueberry eyes. It's been fun to watch Kayla and your family grow.

Sabrina Steyling said...

Happy 12th Birthday, Kayla! You are a beautiful, capable young lady! God bless!

FlutistPride said...

Happy birthday, Kayla. It doesn't get any easier from here.

Anonymous said...

Yes she is a our beautiful granddaughter!! love love who she is!! and who she will become. love her smile and her sense of style. :} Happy BD Kayla Renae Helferich love memaw