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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Permission to Shake it Off

Henry's second birthday is a little more than a month away. It will be here before we know it! And I've begun writing some wellness updates to share about how much he is doing and learning. I set out to write one post that would include his progress with language, motor skills, and feeding. But I quickly realized I had so much to say about it that it really needs to be a series of posts instead of one terribly long one!

How exciting that there's so much to say about Henry's progress!

As I was working on the first of these wellness updates, I felt compelled to explain that the things he is learning, although new and exciting for him, are things that typical babies learn and do much earlier. I felt compelled to remind people that all his progress is still very delayed and slow-going compared to other kids. Almost as if to say, We're so excited! But actually, let's not get too excited. Sorry.

Like Debbie Downer.

What is up with that? 

That is totally unnecessary.

Why would I want to take away from the joy of sharing how Henry has grown? Why can't I just let myself be proud of how far he has come without insisting on a disclaimer about how far he is behind the norm? Why do I feel like it's important to remind people that he's different? 

If you read this blog, you know that Henry and Calvin have developmental differences caused by their chromosomes. I don't have to say it over and over again. It is who they are and I don't have to apologize for it or feel pitiable for it or hold back from celebrating when there's something to celebrate! Even if they had the expected number of chromosomes, their journey is their own. There would still be ups and down, struggles and victories.  

I think part of it comes from a desire to be humble as I'm bragging about my kids, but in a way I feel like I'm disrespecting them if I'm saying how far they've come and how far behind they are in the same breath. They don't deserve that. They deserve praise for how hard they've worked and how much they've learned and how far they've come. With no disclaimers. And no Debbie Downer.

That guilt, that worry, that fear... whatever it is that makes me feel like I need to temper my enthusiasm about Henry or Calvin's development, or wear their "differences" like a weight around my neck... That is something I do not need. And Calvin and Henry definitely don't need me carrying that stuff around.

So I'm giving myself permission to shake it off. 

It creeps up on me. And sometimes I need a reminder that it's ok to let it go. 

Thank you, Taylor and Elsa. 

Once I get those songs out of my head, I will get back to writing those wellness updates! Because I do have happy and exciting things to share about Henry! And he deserves uninhibited celebration. 

Other parents, does this kind of thing ever get you down? Or do I sound crazy?

Well, if this resonates with you at all, I give you permission to shake it off, too. ;)


  1. milestones and accomplishments will just happen when they happen and we'll all shout hooray!

  2. Your boys definitely deserve uninhibited celebration! Maybe we all do! for our kids, for ourselves.

  3. Your boys definitely deserve uninhibited celebration! Maybe we all do! for our kids, for ourselves.

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