Friday, December 25, 2009

On My Mind

EDITOR'S NOTE: This post originally appeared on Finnian's Journey on July 29, 2008. It is reproduced here with the author's permission. Click here to see this post in its original context (which may include accompanying photos), to view existing comments and to leave a comment of your own.

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Today was a pretty uneventful day in Finn's life, although he did experience his very first earthquake! He slept through the entire thing, though, while the other kids were freaking out and I was herding them all under the dining room table.


I realized today that I don't feel angry anymore. When Finn was admitted to the hospital and had to have surgery, and especially when he was officially diagnosed with Down syndrome, I felt incredibly angry. Michael asked me who I was angry at. There was no person whom I was angry at, I was just angry at the situation, at the unfairness of it all - unfair to me as a mother to have this baby I wasn't prepared for and felt ill-equipped to deal with, and in all honesty for being cheated out of having the "perfect" baby I had expected, unfair to our family for all the ways this would all affect everyone over time, and most of all, unfair to Finn himself for not being given a healthy body and a "normal" life. Yes, I was angry - furious.

I don't think I feel angry anymore, though. Sad? Yes. Scared? Yes. But I've fallen completely in love with my baby boy, and the anger is gone. I love his sweetness. I love how he smells and how soft and warm he feels. I love how he molds perfectly to me when I am nursing him. I love his fuzzy head, and how he has a tuft that perpetually sticks up on top, reminding me of a rooster. I love how he furrows his little brow and looks like a grumpy old man. I love how he loves to be wrapped up tight like a burrito. I love his eyes that are the most beautiful shade of blue. I love how he lets me kiss him all over.

It's getting harder to even remember life before Finn.


Not a day goes by that someone doesn't tell me "Special babies are given to special parents . . ." or "Everything happens for a reason . . ." or "God doesn't given anyone more than they can handle . . ." With all due respect, none of that makes any sense to me. Every baby is special, and "special" babies are sometimes given to crappy parents, too. And what possible reason could there be for our family to be given a child with special needs? To teach us compassion, or gratitude? I imagine whatever "reason" people think there might be, it has to do with some lesson we're supposed to get out of it. But where does that leave Finn? Is he just a sacrificial lamb in this scheme? And as far as people not being given more than they can handle, well, come on, folks, what about all the people that go postal? They've obviously been given more than they can handle. I believe that I and my family can and will handle this, as I believe that most people find strength under challenging circumstances that they didn't realize they had. We're not special. We're just an average family with ups and downs, with virtues and faults, just like most other families.

I say all this without bitterness, and it's not my intent to debate whether there is a god or not. Everyone believes what makes them feel able to get through this life. Me? I believe it's all purely random. Sometimes good things happen to bad people, and sometimes bad things happen to good people. I don't believe that Finn was "given" to us for any reason. I do believe that there will be lots of lessons that we'll learn by virtue of his being our son, but I think that's just an incidental result of a random thing that happened in our family. If I believed in God, and if I believed he was responsible for this, then I think I would have more reason to be angry.


My friends continue to rally around us, and I still have been unable to find the words to express the depth of my gratitude. We are still being brought meals. I thought it was just through the end of July - and that would have been more than enough. But I was informed a couple days ago that my MOMS Club, as well as some friends who aren't even a part of MOMS Club, have worked out a schedule to continue bringing us meals through August. I feel uncomfortable with all this generosity, but extremely grateful. Last night my friend, Robin, stopped by with a basket of fruit and homemade bread as well as a bag full of breakfast stuff and a beautiful blanket for Finn embroidered with his name and birth stats. My friend Jen came over today with her girls and brought lunch and while she was here and I sat nursing the baby, she put together my new stroller. Judy brought us homemade chicken and dumplings for dinner tonight.

My friends lift me up. I don't know what I'd do without them.