September 20, 2012

She's Three

Our little girl is three. Being three brings about a lot of big changes. Rachel will no longer be seen by therapists in our home. She is now officially a preschooler and had her first day yesterday. I didn't receive any calls throughout the day asking me to come pick her up early so that was a good sign. However, she was completely exhausted when I got her and a mess when I got her home. It took her 20 minutes of screaming before she calmed down enough to take a nap. Once she had her nap she was back to her old self. Apparently preschool is tough work.
Rachel starting school is tough for me too but not because I don't think she'll do well in school or because I will miss her. This is the first time she will be out of my sight and protection. I can't shield her anymore. She is a tough cookie but that first time she understands that she is being left out because she is "different" will kill me. I can already feel my heart shatter in my body. When I was a grade schooler (and even a high schooler), I never felt like I belonged. There were cliques of girls who did everything together and I was not included. I wanted nothing more than to be skinny, blonde and pretty. I would write in my diary about how I needed to lose weight and draw "before" and "after" pictures of me.
Rachel will probably go through the same emotions like I and many other girls had about themselves. Unfortunately, she will also have the added obstacle of Down syndrome. Her face is like a giant target saying "I'm different. Pick on me. Leave me out of your group." How will I assure her that she is beautiful and smart when most of the outside world thinks and tells her, maybe not with words but actions, that she is not beautiful and not smart enough to belong?
I know she is only three and that maybe I should just be thankful that she doesn't understand it now. But she has started school and to me that means that hurtful part of her life has started too.


  1. i can understand that wholeheartedly. Every mom feels so helpless leaving their kids at school. you want to protect them from everything. a mother's heart breaks in a thousand pieces all the time. their hearts hurt when they see their kids not fitting in or feeling less than the perfect person they are. a mom knows and she hurts.

    Your trials with Rachel are magnified because of Ds. However, she will be the friendly loving girl and know that her mommy loves her unconditionally.

    by the way, you've really grown into a wonderful woman and mom. love you!

  2. Being out of your protection is so hard. I have to constantly remind myself there are good people who will not judge her but of course as she gets older these people will be fewer.
    Rachel looks pretty cool in her big girl outfit, love the skinny jeans.


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