Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Monday, June 06, 2011

The Girl...15...I'm stunned

I have no idea where the time has gone. 15 years ago I wanted to know what Angela was going to be like when she was grown up. Would she be able to live on her own? Would she ever learn to read? Would she have friends?

If you ask her, Angela IS all grown up already. A couple years ago she informed me, "Mom, I have bad news. I'm going to move far away, and you're not coming!"

I guess that answered one of my first questions! LOL At 15, I have a pretty good idea where Angela will be as an adult. If I were to base her living skills where she is right now, she'd be able to live with some assistance. Someone coming it to check on her a couple times per day to make sure she's taken her seizure meds and stuff like that, and someone to cook. But she's only 15, with several years left to learn the cooking skills she needs, and I'm confident she'll get there.

Would she learn to read? This was a more difficult skill for Angela to learn, mostly do to her incredibly short attention span. Angela is a pretty active young lady (and easily excitable!) so sitting still and concentrating wasn't something she was interested in. However, I'm happy to say that this year reading "clicked" for her. She's now reading for pleasure! She doesn't really care for books, but she LOVES teen magazines, and who needs any more information that what Justin Beeber's favorite food is? Certainly not Angela! LOL Yesterday she was reading my mail, and the day before that trying to read Axel's IEP, so I'm thinking my question about reading has been answered too!

Would she have friends? Angela has LOTS of friends. The ones she does the most with outside of school are those who she knows from Special Olympics. Special Olympics is a wonderfully social time for her. She doesn't do anything with "typical" peers anymore. They've long since left her in the dust. But guess what? SHE seems ok with that, it's me who has a problem. When you ask her who her best friends are, she never names kids from her mainstream classrooms. She names those she knows from Special Ed, or Special Olympics. THOSE are her true peers. Those are the friends who understand her, and TRULY accept her, quirks and all.

Angela's finds joy in everything she does in life, and it's infectious! I don't know how many times over the years I've been greet with this poses like these: (do you see a common theme?)

This morning when I took your picture, you popped out that pose yet again. As you appeared on my computer screen I're not my "little" girl anymore. You're 15. A young lady. With boyfriends and a social life and all the things that come with being a 15 year old.

So pretty girl, as I send you out into the world today, I do so knowing life is good. You're going to be fine. We're all going to be O.K. And I thank God once again for allowing me the blessing of being your mom!


Becca said...

This is such an important and inspirational post for those of us with young children. I've been following you and Angela for a few years now, and am always so heartened by the positive future I see Angela having and that I know lies ahead for Samantha.

Taylor said...

What a great post, Leah! Thank you for sharing.


Melissa said...

I see a LOT of sassiness in your beautiful girl :) Like Becca said, this post gives me hope for my own sassy, beautiful girl.

Cindy said...

What a great kid (I mean young lady!)

blcmec1 said...

Happy Birthday, Angela!!

Melissa said...

What Becca said! No really, thank you for your post and for sharing Angela with us. It really does make my worries for the future less worrisome!