Tuesday, March 27, 2012

He is what he is. He'll be what he'll be.

Yep, I'm aware I haven't updated on Bennett in quite some time.  After all, "our unexpected journey" was created because of him.  But I've been wrapped up in my crafts, in our lives and I guess it just goes to show you that life can be totally "normal" when you have a child with Down syndrome.

But how's Bennett doing?  Well I think he's doing great!  He's the sweetest boy I've ever known:) and he's learning so much.  And for the most part this is how I think and how I go on and life is normal.  But then I see another kid the same age and often younger and then WHAM!  Just like that, the delays coming flying in my face.  Hmm, almost forgot he had Down syndrome but that just quickly reminded me.  Great.

These times are few and far between but I can only imagine they will become more frequent as he gets older. I'm not naive.  I'm not in denial.  I'm realistic.  And although the reminders can totally suck I still wouldn't change a thing.  I don't care what kind of problems (or so I've heard),  I have to go through when he gets older, I like him how he is, it's just a little reality check I suppose.

So this is what Bennett is doing at 2 years and 22 months old. Promise I'll have some video of this sweet boy up soon:
  • B knows many of his colors (words and signs): red, blue, yellow, green, purple-he loves to say "lellow"!
  • B walks all around, bends down to pick things up, backs up, turns in a circle, kicks a ball, throws a ball, tries to catch a ball

No running yet-fine with me!  Why on earth would I want him to run from me!?

  • B asks for help, tells us when he wants to eat, asks for more when he wants more of something, tells us when he's "all done", when he wants down, when he wants up, says "hi" and "bye" to everyone;), asks for his "bippy" (sippy cup), he says lots of words and tries to repeat what we say but to sum that up, he uses one word phrases.  He does not talk in sentences, not even close.  Whatever.
  • B likes to count to 3 when he's getting ready to kick or throw a ball.
  • B likes to do fine motor skills like put small things in small containers, string beads, puzzles (although he needs to work on getting the right puzzle piece in the right spot), shape sorters, stacking, etc.
  • B loves to help clean up- (he's soooo my child-who-hoo!)  Seriously, I tell him to clean up and he's like a mad man cleaning up every last piece....LOVE IT!
  • B is getting very good at following directions: like cleaning up, taking his shoes off, putting shoes in the basket, getting a book to read, placing his cup on the table "nicely"-who doesn't like a kid that follows directions?!
  • B loves to watch basketball and golf with his daddy!  He cheers when the player (any player) makes a basket or gets the ball in the hole, although Mike's not always happy at who he cheers for when it comes to basketball;)  
"No Bennett, we DON'T cheer for NC State or Duke, we cheer for Carolina.";)

    • Perhaps my favorite one of all and I hope it never changes:   B loves to snuggle, particularly with his momma;)  Although he is starting to give out his sweet hugs with PATS ON THE SHOULDER to lots of people now!  But there is something about this sweet boy when he holds me so tightly and strokes my arm, pats me gently while he lays his head on my shoulder and sucks his thumb.  I mean, how can I not melt?   Mikes gets it too though.  B really loves his daddy.   
    These are the times that make me realize he was made just for us and who gives a darn if he has Down syndrome.  And the fact that he reminds us of that several times a day with his sweet snuggles, I don't know, I think it's a God thing.  So maybe it's God reminding us;)

    So I know there are tons of things Bennett's not doing compared to other kids and I'm sure even compared to other kids with DS.  Whatever.  He is what he is.  He'll be what he'll be.  Is he high functioning?  I don't know.  Is he low functioning?  I don't know.  Do I care?  Not really.  Seriously.  I kind of find either term slightly offensive because either way someone is offended by it.

    We work with Bennett, his therapists work with him. He learns, he gets things or he doesn't get things, so we continue to work on it.  Could I do more?  Probably.  Would I be happier if I did more?  Maybe, if he was doing more but do I want to kill myself to make my son like other kids when I don't even know if that's possible?  No.  If I feel I need to work more with him on something, I will.  Trust me, I go through stages where I tell Mike:

     "Now don't just let Bennett sit there and play with some toy! Work on his puzzles, work on his colors, work on his flash cards."  And then there are other times where I just think he needs to play.  

    Is it hard that I even have to think about that with my child...

    Should I just let him play or should we be working on something?  Am I doing enough?  Where are the flash cards!?  

    Yeah.  But that's what we've been given and I'll gladly take it in return for the snuggles I get every single day from this boy.   Not to mention the PURE joy that comes when he does accomplish something new.

    He is what he is.  He'll be what he'll be.  

    And I thank God for reminding me of that every single day.


    1. Love this! I have been thinking some of the same things lately...can you please have Bennett show Emily how to clean up though...haha!

    2. What a lovely post, Adrienne! Seriously, Bennett is one of the cutest boys I have ever seen. EVER.

      And I completely agree with you...who cares? Who cares about the delays, who cares about the Down syndrome, it just really isn't that big of a deal.

    3. The first time I came across your blog I was blown away by those big brown eyes and cute face and today I'm still blown away - Bennett is by far one of the cutest kids I've ever seen!!!

      I struggle with the "let him play or work on something" too...most time I just let Sutter play and try to ignore the guilt! I figure he may not know his shapes or numbers or ABC's by the time he's 3 but he'll learn them eventually and that's all matters in the long run!

      I love your blog and it's so fun to see/hear what Bennett's been up to lately!!!

    4. Smart boy... We DO cheer for NC State :)

    5. Beautiful post. It brought tears to my eyes. He is so amazing.

      Side note- how did you get your blogger so viewers cannot copy or right click on your blog?

    6. Love him just like he is~ just like y'all do! :)

    7. He's doing so amazing! I love how you said it all.

      I just follow P's lead as far as play/work sometimes he's ready for work other he's not and I just let him do his thing. Sometimes he's ready to work and I'm not...eek...but that's the truth.

      I love your blog and cute family!

    8. Luke is 6 and still the best cuddler ever! I don't even mind that he wakes me up every day at 5:30 to climb in bed with us because he snuggles so sweetly with me. Bennett is so darn adorable!

    9. wow he's dong some awesome stuff for his age - sounds like you're doing a great job AND enjoying the jouney all at the same time. that's the key, right? to love every minute with our kids and just enjoy them? Bennett is so adorable, I'm sure those snuggles are the best!!

    10. That is the perfect attitude. My Ben is 21, there are many things he cannot do, but in his life, it does not matter one bit. He still crawls in his mamma's lap, although he is bigger than me. He is happy and he does not miss out on anything. I love that he is not like other young men his age. He enjoys being with mom and dad. His greatest joy is family time. He is very socialble and is loved by all. His dad and I are a threesome, we go everywhere and do everything together. I am so grateful God gave us our Ben.

    11. I totally agree with you & can relate from start to finish! I like my little Levi just how he is.

    12. I also need B to teach my 3 year old how to clean up!

    13. Love love love!! Ayiiii yi yi those progress reports and thinking we need to do & press all the time. Relax and enjoy, ride the wave of fun and gently glide into academics with FUN. Steady the course and sometimes the turtle wins the race even IF he takes mini breaks along the way. And either way, second place is great too. Ohhh hmmm I'm 'getting' the high & low functioning point now. You do isolate the low functioning when you insist your high functioning....l'm impressed by qualities not measured by Points but HUGS and GIGGLES.

    14. I admire you so!!! Love your attitude and crafts!!!! I just posted on this topic today a few hours before you, it's been weighing on me, so thank you!!!!!

    15. Thank you for sharing your post :) Bennett is so dang cute! He is doing VERY WELL, things Jacob is not, but in his own time will get there.

    16. Love this post! I struggle every day with whether I am doing enough with Madi or not. Thank you for putting it in perspective.

      Bennett is the cutest little boy..........love the last picture!!

    17. Bennett is seriously so cute. Its funny once you are in this life it is just normal life. But I am always thinking... Could or should I be doing more... Or Cooper needs to do his exercises instead of playing. Just funny how we all think alike. Thanks for sharing.

    18. Your son is adorable! I am glad you have this attitude and I am glad you share your family. You seem to accomplish so much more than most and I am sure you have your moments, but you have a beautiful family. Bennett is just one handsome boy- that is what he is!!!

    19. i feel the same way about sometimes beeing thinking about working on something with Kristofer all the time. I say the same thing, he will be what he will be, I try my best and do what is best for him but I also need to be just his mama and he needs to be just a child playing.

      Your son is so beautiful! and he´s gotten so big! Kristofer just turn 3 I feel like he is all grown up now!

      Hugs from Iceland

    20. Thanks so much for the Bennett update! He is adorable. That last picture is just priceless....wow, so handsome! I think many of the points that you brought up in this post are true for any parent. We all need to be reminded not to push our kids too hard and, at times, just let them play! Thanks for the reminder!

    21. I think you have a good, healthy way of looking at life. I haven't walked a mile in your shoes. I don't have a Down Syndrome child, so I can only imagine parenting from that perspective. I am a parent, though. My son will be 32 in a couple of weeks. Other than a very strange joint disease that required a hip replacement, he's been pretty healthy all these years. As I read the part of your post about wondering whether you're doing enough, I recalled thinking the same thing at various points along the way as my son was growing up. You've likely wondered the same thing about your daughters too. And you're absolutely right about the "high functioning" and "low functioning" thing. Tags don't accomplish anything. My son was in special ed classes, so I had to deal with that kind of ugliness to some extent too. I think that "doing enough" means letting our children know how loved and lovable they are in good times and not so good times. You're doing enough. You're literally getting patted on the back by that sweet boy. That's not a coincidence. ;) Keep up the good work!


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