What do you want to be when you grow up? That seems to be a common question in our house right now.
This morning, while beading a colorful necklace for her Oma, Greta announced... "When I grow up, I want to be an artist and a veterinarian farmer." Hmmm, lots of paintings and other creations, fresh vegetables and healthy farm animals. Sounds very down to earth. If anyone can, she can pull it off.
I love the things kids come up with, especially when they're creating and not so much thinking. Just letting their thoughts come out as they come to them.
Anna wants to be a teacher and an author. She says she can teach and still write in her spare time. I hope she also continues in art, but I'm very impressed by her writing skills. It's these "smiley-face" tricks... a writing technique she learned for excellent creative writing. I should take notes!
Nicolas still desires to be a Catholic priest -- something he's aspired to since he was 5. Some days he says family life, being a husband and father would be a joy for him as well. He's very involved in Boy Scouts, has strong leadership skills and tends to be analytical, so who knows what else he would choose to do. He's still young... who knows what his desires will be in the next 5 or 6 years.
I often wonder what John Michael will be when he grows up. I think about his future occasionally. He's already such a people person... What kinds of opportunities will he have? Will doors open for him? or will his facial and physical appearance make a potential employer reconsider hiring him? I used to be afraid of the future... of 40 years down the road when I'm (gasp) 80. I no longer worry that far in advance. We have so many years ahead of us with school and life... it's a waste of time to worry. I'm learning to enjoy the ride and I pray that the future for our children and adults with Down syndrome will be bright. We need more advocacy, more awareness of how awesome these individuals are, less hate speech, like the "R" word, more compassion, less infatuation with "perfection". I've never known any of my kids to be completely "perfect" and yet, they're all perfect.
When I grow up, I want to be more like John Michael. Less concerned about what people think, more able to be present in the world around me and enjoy the small things, less judgmental, more compassionate, less worried about things I cannot control, and have a more child-like faith.
I've been married for 20 years to my wonderful husband, Doug. I'm a Catholic SAHM to 5 children. Our 4th child, John Michael, was born in November 2007, and has opened us up to the amazing world of Down syndrome. We are grateful to God for the blessings He's given us and the journey He's put us on. When I'm not spending time with my family, I sing with RSVP, an amazing vocal group, educate on Down syndrome, have my own health and wellness business, and blog about our life.