Saturday, April 16, 2011

There's Something About Elijah

There was a great Farrelly brothers movie in the late 90's called "There's Something About Mary" about a girl who all the boys fall in love with. I think my youngest son may have his own "Something"...

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At first, it was pretty magical. Then, my Mama bear instincts were starting to bristle...I know cows aren't carnivores, but is it going to take a bite out of my baby??!! (I mean, let's face it...he IS delicious!) The first cow was pretty easy going. (Yes...I said first cow.) The second cow was a little more bossy. He (She?) was insisting on checking out the stroller & Elijah and wouldn't leave them alone. I actually started getting pretty nervous. Cows are big animals, and when you've got a big animal following you and your baby, it starts to get a little freaky!

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Mm hmm...that is the cow's head stuck deep into the stroller.  Perhaps she wanted a ride? To smell Elijah's diaper? Either way, this was where I started trying to remain calm and not panic.  Kinda crazy...

Elijah wasn't phased by the cows at all.  He didn't cry and didn't seemed bothered by them checking him out.  We were at the farm for a good friend's birthday party.  The farm is called The Gentle Barn and all of the animals that reside there have been rescued from severe abuse.  The animals at Gentle Barn have been rehabilitated through love, trust, forgiveness and courage.  The barn even offers special events to guests with special needs.  It's not hard for me to believe that somehow there is a connection between these animals who seek peace, quiet, comfort and love and find interest in a young baby with Down syndrome, who like all babies seeks much of the same: peace, comfort and love (...maybe not the "quiet" part per se...).  I don't know...I do believe that there is much of this world that we don't fully understand...

Maybe there is something about Elijah...

Or...maybe, to a cow, there is just something about Elijah in a Stroller...

By, complete contrast, I had Christian with me at the farm...

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The cows looked at him very skeptically, as if to say, I just don't trust you little man... and to be honest, I can't say they'd be wrong...

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The cows wanted nothing to do with Christian...
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They couldn't get away fast enough...

But...at least, like Elijah, he didn't cry and didn't seemed bothered by it.

It was a great day to be able to celebrate with our friends and to enjoy the animals (and for the animals to enjoy Elijah...)


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Yesterday I took part in a sizzle reel for a potential reality show about a group of Moms who each have a child with special needs. A sizzle reel is a 3-5 minute video to try to develop interest in a product- in this case to develop interest in a potential show. In it, we each read from the poem Welcome to Holland. I was sent this poem shortly after receiving Elijah's Down syndrome diagnosis.  It made me cry and I liked it, except for the very end of the poem. The poem states that finding out your child will have special needs is like planning for a trip to Italy, only to find out you've actually gone to Holland instead.  The end of the poem suggests that the pain of wanting to have had things one way and ending up with them a different way will be a pain that will never ever, ever, ever (yes- 3 evers) go away, because "the loss of that dream is a very, very (yep- 2 verys) significant loss."  I agree most with the very last line: "But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland." I have friends who feel that this poem is exactly how they feel and I completely respect that.  I guess, for me, I can't live in both places- I can't have the pain never, ever, ever, ever go away and be free to enjoy the things that are different all at the same time. Maybe, it's also because Elijah is my second born.  I've been "to Italy", as the poem suggests, so perhaps I feel less like I'm missing out on something?  Either way, I loved the concept for the sizzle reel and am in complete support of a show that would highlight the struggles and challenges of Mothers of children with special needs. I can't think of a single show out there that focuses on this.  Down syndrome is a smaller group than other disabilities, but there are other disabilities- like Autism- that affect huge numbers of people.  So, dealing with special needs in children isn't as uncommon as it once seemed.  I think it's about time it came out of the closet. I think it's about time that parents -who are feeling a range of emotions about what it means to raise a child with special needs: loneliness, fear, and isolation,  to name a few- can  turn to and see what others are dealing with also.  I don't know if anything will happen with this show, but I support the efforts 100% and hope that the time is near for a show of this type- and I hope it's a show done well.  The end of my interview for the sizzle reel was the question What is the most rewarding thing about Elijah?  It was hard not to get choked up when I said, Elijah looks at me like the sun and moon rise and set by my face.  It is the most amazing feeling in the world to be looked at like that. It really makes everything worth it.  
And I meant it. 

There is just something about Elijah...

4 comments:

thea said...

*sniff*... beautifully said my friend.

Tara said...

LOVE the cow pics! Too funny! When Eon was at the fair last summer, I noticed that a lot of the draft horses would shy from the other kids and then come right up to the gate to nuzzle him. I wondered if the connection was due to Ds, too.

I just wrote a post about Welcome to Holland on my blog. I agree with you about having already been to Italy, maybe Holland just isn't that big of deal. :-)

Jenny said...

This post cracked me up! Loved the pictures!

P said...

Awesome about the show. Let us know how we can support the show idea, is there a Facebook fan club or anything? Lots of blogs & moms of various needs out there!!

The farm looks great, we'd love to go with you someday maybe!!?

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