Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess named Sara. This is somewhat meaningful since her name means princess. In her castle there also lived a handsome prince named Andrew. He worked hard day and night to tile the bathroom, renovate the house and get sermons on the table (pulpit) for Sunday. In this castle there were also two small mice named Elizabeth and Simon. We'll call them mice because if we call them prince and princess that causes so much confusion, and if Elizabeth finds out that she is a princess just think of the drama! They also had a dog. His name was Prince. (I'm not even kidding!) This happy little family did all the things that usual happy little royalty does (or is it did?). Oiy. Time to switch to present tense.
So some days my life does feel like a fairy tale. I fall asleep in my comfortable bed knowing my kids are sound asleep in their comfortable beds, and no one is going to sneak into our house in the middle of the night to steal them away to become child soldiers. I wake up (some mornings) to the sound of two beautiful children playing together in their room and giggling away. Just to clarify - I do wake up every morning, just not always to the sound of joy.
I am doing a Bible Study with a group of moms and we are studying the book, Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge. In a chapter a few weeks ago she mentioned that we do live in a fairy tale. In every fairy tale there is a wicked witch or big bad wolf trying to mess things up. What is life if we don't have trials to make us stronger and realize that we can slay the dragon or build our houses out of bricks. Without diversity and challenges we would be bored and weak. I like her point. Especially given the life that I live. I deal with discouragement, self-doubt, anger, and so many other things in life that I just don't want to. Today is a day that is all piles up in a heap. Why?
Six years ago today, probably around this time I was in stirrups in a hospital having my dead baby scraped out of my uterus by a woman I had only met once before. I had miscarried my first baby several weeks earlier, but it was one of those rare cases where my body didn't expel the baby naturally. So there I was on the first day of spring wishing I were somewhere else. The loss was not easy at the time in any way. My knight in shining armor didn't know what to do with me. He was at a loss as to why one day I would be "fine" and the next day be upstairs lying in bed crying. There was a girl in our youth group who hadn't heard the news and came up to me and asked me how excited I was to be a mom soon. That didn't hurt, it was more awkward for her.
Now, the first day of spring always reminds me of the joy and sorrow. If that baby had lived and been carried to term, where would we be now? I have no idea. What made that miscarriage the most difficult was that it was our first child. I had no other baby or child to cuddle with and be glad that I had at least one child. We had our beautiful daughter 11 months later. Then when I was pregnant again after about two years, I miscarried again. This time it was normal. Not less painful, but no stirrups. I went to the bathroom, and looked down and realized that was more than just some spotting in the toilet. I had a piano lesson in a few minutes, so after strongly advising Andrew to not let anyone into that bathroom, I taught a piano lesson and then went back into the bathroom and picked my baby out of the toilet. Two days later Andrew's parents came to stay with us for the weekend. We went to church like everything was normal, and again I saw more than spotting in the toilet. This time I had to let it go. I could not bring myself to reach into a public washroom toilet and find a bag to put it in. Sorry this is graphic, but I'm spilling my guts because today that is what I need to do. I can move through the losses because I have hope, now we have been blessed with two beautiful children.
That's all I'm going to say about miscarriage for now. That's the story.
My fairy tale continues. So, a big bad wolf howling at our castle is Down Syndrome. In some ways though it doesn't quite fit the criteria. Because we welcome this wolf in. If we didn't we would be ostriches and incredibly unhealthy. But the wolf wants to label our son. He wants to limit him. Put time restraints on him. He wants to steal the joy of his smile with the reminder of the potential dental problems that we may face. (No pun intended.) The big bad wolf howls that Simon will be teased and not included and in kindergarten FOREVER! NO! I say. Be gone you wolf or wicked witch or whoever you are. I know you. I know who you come from. You are not welcome here. You can't hide under the couch because we will hunt you down and send you out! Down Syndrome we have and will until death, but the wolf part does not have to be.
I'm asking for help. For encouragement. Some days are great! Some days are just days. But the more that we can be told that we are doing well and doing our best, and that Simon is great and wonderful, the better that is. I'm not looking to pad our egos. I just need to be reminded on those days that things are good; that they can only get better.
Someday my "real" prince will come. He doesn't wear shining armor or ride a horse. He wears sandals and rides a donkey. He works with wood, and even died on it. But he rose again and is coming back for me. He is coming back for the ones that love and serve him. If you don't want to hear this I'm sorry. I made a disclaimer at the top of my blog that I am inviting you into my head. Jesus is in my head. He is in my heart, and if that makes you uncomfortable.....
Thanks for listening to my pain, and rant, and Billy Graham speech. Thanks for taking the time to read and learn and grow with me. Happy first day of spring (with a quivering chin and tears in my eyes). The daffodils in heaven must be beautiful.
Why that name
Just a quick note - I chose this title for my blog because if any of you have tried to actually go up the down escalator it is a lot of work. When my son Simon was born, I was figuratively transported to the basement. I was struggling to find out what this meant for our family, and our future. I began a journey on that day, to go up the down escalator. I know it will always be a lot of work to keep going up, but that is what I have to do now to stay out of the basement. Simon has Down Syndrome, but I am choosing every day to make life normal for him and to help us get back to the ground floor. Anytime I forget the joy and stop moving forward, I find myself rapidly descending into the basement again. Thankfully I also have an emergency stop button. He is my Creator and my Father. The One who brings the despair to a standstill when I call on Him. He is my Rock and Refuge. The One I can run to when no one else understands. It may sound cliche, but it's true, I couldn't do any of this without God. He is the reason that some days I can still smile when things are ridiculous inside. That is why the name.