Thursday, October 9, 2014

October 9: Independance

I’ve always looked at the developmental delays that come with the extra chromosome as sort of a motherhood-bonus: my baby, my last child, my little girl, stays a baby longer. With other kids, the milestones whiz by. With a child with Down syndrome, you get to savor every single milestone, because there is plenty of time in between each of them.

But Sofia is nine and a half years old now. She is no longer a baby.

And she’s starting to let me know it!

I’ve been talking to friends about last Saturday, and what a difficult day it was for me with her. And I’ve come to the realization that it was MY problem. Not hers. My problem that I could not let her go, let her do what SHE wanted to do. I needed to control her, the way I’ve always controlled her.

She is a young lady now. A very opinionated young lady, with likes and dislikes of her very own.

As my friend Michelle over at Big Blueberry Eyes just wrote tonight, I need to back off. I need to give Sofia some space to grow, to be her own person. Not my little shadow.

She lets me know - in no uncertain terms - when I should “Go ‘Way”. When I should “SHH! Be Quiet!”.  And when I should “Leave ‘Lone! Bothering Me!”.

I’m just not always ready to hear her.

Recently the independence has shows in her shopping habits. Previously, she was content to come along with me, look at stuff, maybe touch or grab but not argue too much when I said no. That’s gone. Going to the grocery store is an exercise is preteen attitude and arguing. “Buy This!” - and something is plopped into the shopping cart. “Oooh! We Need This!” and something else lands in the cart. “Yes Mom! I Love It!”.

At the mall on Sunday afternoon, after waiting patiently to get her makeup done by the lady at the Origins store, we followed Sofia as she went shopping. First she had to check out the clothing in Hannah Anderson. Then it was jewelry shopping. Then into Vera Bradley (where they actually gave her a small change purse!). Then William Sonoma. Then Chico's (ok, granted, I was shopping there, but she made David help her try on more jewelry).

She’s ready for the world. She’s ready for BOYS. Fortunately, her biggest crush is on her brother Sam. But she’ll take any opportunity to dance with a handsome guy - the DJ at a B’nei Mitzvah party; the director of her camp on “Prom” day. She knows a good thing when she sees it. She knows what she likes.

I’m soooo not ready! But I’m going to have to try.