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!