Despite my loathing of the kitchen sink and dirty dishes, I tried my best to make the experience a positive one. I would day dream about the possibilites my future held. The endearing maybes that only childhood sincerely lends us. The possibility of college and jobs and marriage and kids.
On lasagna nights, when the dish duty was extra daunting, I would create names for my future kids, plan their personalities, and envison my life. And it was going to be a beautifully happy life, just after I finished scrubbing the last dried noodle from the casserole dish.
The days following the diagnosis and blood draw were filled with reoccurring doubts, endless tears, and restless nights.
During this trying time, I found myself once again at the kitchen sink; it surprisingly became the place I frequented the most. While at the sink my thoughts shifted from the hopeful ones of my childhood to the realistic ones of my adulthood.
I prayed for Ceci to be healthy, for the doctor to be wrong, for me to have the strength for whatever faced us.
I scrubbed dishes and begged God, cursed him, and asked for forgiveness...all in a matter of moments.
I loaded the dishwasher and tried to picture Ceci's life with a Down Syndrome diagnosis. I tried to picture my life and Brent's life and Laila's life.
I cried at the potential thought that the life I had pictured for all of us would never be a reality.
I existed in a world of denial and acceptance and of turmoil and peace.
When my hands became wrinkled with water and worry and my skin dry from overwashing and overthinking, I tried to make the best of this experience...not the dishwashing chore, but the job of raising a child with special needs.
And at that detestable and glorious kitchen sink, I gave myself one more day to cry and fret and feel anger, and then I made a promise to myself.
I promised myself that I would never spend the entirety of another day full of saddness and worry and hate.
I knew I would still experience those feelings from time to time. I was, in fact, going through the grieving process. I was grieving the loss of the child I had envisioned having, and it was okay to be saddend by the loss of that dream.
But never, ever would I allow those feelings to completely run and ruin my day. Never. Because if I did, I was missing out on the amazing moments with the beautiful child I had.
Instead, I focused on her light-up-a-room-mega-watt smile, and there was suddenly less room for the tears. I cherrished every sleepy cuddle and soft touch, and the anger slowly dissipated. I noticed and celebrated all the things Ceci could do, and I realized that the worries slowly went away too.
And before I knew it, I was arm wrestling Brent to get out of dish duty, so I could soak up more time with my Ceci.
|That beautiful, sun shine smile|