Sunday, June 28, 2009

Will My Child Have A Friend?

When Reid was born and we learned of his diagnosis a thousand thoughts and fears flooded me...many of which went to his future. A scary place to be when my son was only a few hours old and I really didn't know much of Down syndrome at that point. But, one of the thoughts I had or something I questioned was will he have friends? My heart hurt as I thought of this and wondered.Recently Reid answered the question for me...not that I didn't know the answer much sooner then now as he has been enveloped and loved by so many especially Luke's friends who I can only imagine as big protectors and extra big brothers for him later in life...but recently Reid made a little friend all by himself! About 7 weeks ago Reid started what is considered "center based therapy" in place of some of our home therapy that he was receiving (Mary if you are reading this, we miss you and Infant Stimulation so much!!). Reid loves his little school and loves his little friend Elijah. You can see in the first picture that Reid was not too sure of him at first with his hands behind his back...but he was quick to warm up and these two are now the best little pals...in fact below you can see Reid tickling Elijah and hamming it up (Elijah is quite the ham himself and absolutely adorable!). 
All these pictures are from Reid's first day there. During circle time on the floor he decided he had had enough and decided to pull his socks off only to put them on his hands as puppets that he made talk to all the kids sitting around him. I watched Elijah watch him and sure enough....he pulled his socks off too. 
It was happening...Reid was making friends, a special friend at that. The director has told me several times that these two are like old souls who have found each other. Do you know how that absolutely made my heart sing?! She has even reported that Elijah has become Reid's body guard. Apparently a little girl had pushed Reid down on the playground and Elijah saw from a distance...put his own toy down... and came over to where they were and pushed the little girl down that pushed Reid. 
Recently I had the privilege of meeting Elijah's parents as we kept missing each other at drop off and pick up. I couldn't wait to tell his mom how much both Reid and I have fallen in love with Elijah and how much I love watching these two wave goodbye to me from the window with their arms around each other and faces shmooshed against the window (I have to get a picture of this...it is too cute!) and how Reid planted a big kiss on Elijah's lips one day as we were leaving. Well...in talking with Elijah's mom I came to find out that she has a younger sister who has Down syndrome. Hmnnn...was there something in Reid's little spirit that Elijah sensed that drew them close? She showed me pictures of her sister and she is absolutely beautiful and...how fantastic is this.... she is part of the cheerleading squad for her high school!! Zoey, Presley, Preslie, and Caydence cheerleading just might be in your future too!

Oh, where was that crystal ball when Reid was born that could of shown me glimpses of the future and showed me these pictures and told me of these moments that would of helped ease my heart when he was so tiny? No, no crystal ball to be had....just a journey of discovery with my little guy. What we have both discovered is that Down syndrome is not holding him back in any capacity....his life is full and filled with joy and special little friends. Thanks Elijah!
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13 comments:

Heidi said...

I have wondered a lot if Joel will have friends. Lately Caleb has been going to a lot of birthday parties and I can't help but wonder if Joel will ever get invited to birthday parties. Your post was so encouraging. Thanks for writing about Reid's special friend.

Junior said...

wonderful pictures, nothing like having good friends.

Michelle said...

Oh what a great post that made me cry so hard...dangit and it was a happy post! Those pictures are priceless. I bet those two are very old souls that were promised to find each other on this earthly journey so neither of them would feel alone. What a great journey this is, even if at times we really would like that crystal ball...but the discovery of what these children hold for us, for themselves and for the world around them is a marvelous work! My little 'P' as a sweet cheerleader....makes me giggle to think! How blessed we are!

Nan P. said...

I did not even ask myself that question about Cathal, I suppose his heart problems took precedence over everything at the begining. And then his Mammy got to meet lots of other mammies, with babies about his age who have DS, and there is now a lovely little gang meeting very regularly. So I know he will have friends. But to know that friendship is possible outside of the "DS circle" is nice. And reassuring. Your post helps. Thanks.

Sharon said...

Awwww...that's so sweet. Reid and his new friend are so cute playing together and look like the already have a very special friendship!

Anonymous said...

HI CHERI IT'S ME TERI ELIJIAHS MOMMY, I READ YOUR PAGE AND MY HEART JUST FELT SO... I DONT KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN IT...IT JUST MADE ME CRY OF HOW GOOD IT MADE ME FEEL TO KNOW THAT ARE SONS ARE BESTIES :) AND HOW YOU CAPTURE THERE FRIENDSHIP AND PUT IT INTO WORDS THAT ARE SO BEAUTIFUL AND IM HONORED. I KNOW THAT IF ELIJIAH COULD TALK HE WOULD TELL ME ALL THE THINGS THAT HIM AND REID DO AT SCHOOL. THANK YOU! I THINK THAT GOD PUTS PEOPLE IN OTHER PEOPLES LIVES FOR A REASON AND BRINGING REID INTO ELIJIAHS LIFE AS WELL AS MINE AND MY FAMILIES IS FOR A REASON... MY MOM, SISTER, AUNTS, AND GRANDMA WERE JUST SO HONORED AND YOU REALLY TOUCHED MY MOM ESPECIALLY WITH THE WAY YOU TALKED ABOUT MY SISTER, SHE JUST CANT WAIT TO MEET YOU AND YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAMILY AND MOST IMPORTANT "REID" :) I CANT PUT INTO WORDS HOW HONORED AND HAPPY I AM THAT WE WILL HAVE A SPECIAL CONNECTION AND BOND BECAUSE GOD MADE BOTH OF OUR SONS SO EXTRA SPECIAL IN THERE OWN WAY FOR A REASON.

Kele said...

Thank you so much for this post Cheri. I, normally, have also been concerned about Presley's future, wondered and worried. I know there will be a day when she has to leave the safety of her family and our home and I have many fears.
This post helped me put peace to some of those fears, thank you sweet friend.
I can't get over how dog gone precious Reid is, and YES, he looks like such a little ham!! He and his 'bestie' (I love how his mom put it!) Elijah are adorable together and his mom sounds like a sweetheart from her comment. How lucky that the two of you have also found one another!

Teri Elijiah's NaNa said...

Hi Cheri, you don't know me but hopefully soon you will, Iam Elijiah's grandma, I too have a daughter who has DS she is 16 going on 22, It's amazing how GOD works wonders & puts special ANGELES in ones path, Becky is Elijiah's Aunt & Godmother. 1 word of advise Do Not let anyone tell you your son "CANT". Becky was a cheerleader in middle school she also was selected MOST INSPIRING STUDENT of the whole school, she played soccer & worked at Vets hospital this past year in the garden, she is a straight "A" student, Had a Quincenera (15) celebration, & still has alot to acheive, Get ready...when Reid is about 14 the Girls are going to start calling...he will have sooo many friends you wont be able to keep up. get ready for all the school dances & parties & who know's what else. Hope to meet you soon, A Proud MOM & Grandma

Cheri said...

Okay..now I have a lump in my throat! :) I cannot wait to meet Becky and the rest of your family! Thank you for the encouragement and sharing about being selected as The Most Inspiring Student...that says so much about Becky and about the wonderful friends she has at school....that makes my heart swell! Becky sounds like such a character! I am looking forward to the phone calls from girls (I think :) ), the parties, school dances, and his social calendar. Thanks for reminding me that these are in his future as well...maybe even Godfather to one of Luke's kids. Your family has been a blessing to us already!

Cheri

jenhiatt said...

Great post. That crystal ball would be nice. We have had many similar experiences with Zach. Their little souls just touch so many people!

Jenny said...

Aww! Elijah and Reid look so cute together. I'm so happy Reid found a friend on his first day!

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

I LOVE this post Cheri! So wonderful! Makes my heart smile!

Addie-tude-GO CARDINALS said...

Cheri-Almost everytime I read your blog it makes me cry-tears of joy. You really should think about writing a book. This reminded me of a boy that attended Cerritos who is autistic. The mother wrote a beautiful letter thanking everyone at the school that had been involved in her son's life and PTA honored all of them with an Honorary Service Award. This included 2 regular ed. boys who made friends with him from his first year there in second grade.Here is what it said: "There are two very special team members who are not teachers, they are not specialists and they are not aides. They are two amazing young men, Dylan and William. These two wonderful boys have been all of the things that I just mentioned and more. They are Trevor's friends. William has been by Trevor's side since 2nd grade and Dylan since 3rd grade. Each of these boys have included Trevor not onnly at school but away from school as well. Playing with him, teaching him, protecting him. With these boys, Trevor is happy! With these boys, Trevor is safe! With these boys, Trevor was able to participate in several different Field Day events and win!! We are so grateful to the parents of these children for raising such loving, caring young men. We will always feel blessed for knowing you and your will always be welcome in our family." Also, during his sixth grade year Trevor was VOTED Class President! Love you, Gloria