Tuesday, April 19, 2011


My father-in-law taught me a phrase.  "Plotting a rush."  When you expect so much that reality will never measure up.

It's hard not to plot rushes.  We do it all the time.  When I was a little girl I used to count down to my birthday for weeks, months even maybe.  I would be so excited I'd be sick.  And of course, life never measured up.  I pretty much learned to hate my birthdays since they were always so disappointing.

I'm trying to learn how to adjust expectations.  To avoid being disappointed.  Sometimes, though, your expectations sneak up on you before you realize you had even defined them.

Too often you don't even realize you have an expectation until you find that it's not met.

Having a child, my expectations were that she'd be healthy, that she'd be smart, that she'd have great language skills (my childhood claim to fame) and that we would love her.  Superficially I expected that that she'd be cute, that she would look like me (of course) with blonde hair and blue eyes.  I always thought I'd have a little towheaded girl.  That there'd be no way around it.  Marrying a man who also had blonde hair as a child and who has very blue eyes, I didn't think there'd be a chance we'd have it otherwise.

And at this point we've got most of those expectations met.  With just a little different interpretation.

Healthy... check.  At least after her open heart surgery.  We'll have to hope that she stays healthy in the future.  Of course, her diagnosis of Down syndrome at first didn't seem like the picture of health, especially with her initial hospital stay.  But there's no reason that a baby with Ds can't be healthy.  And we plan to do everything we can to help her stay that way.

Smart... sure seems like it to me.  She's so social and communicative.  She's definitely learning on a daily basis.  Language skills... well, she's cooing.  Maybe not babbling yet.  But I'm learning that I will have to adjust my expectations.  That her milestones may come later, but they will come.  Like learning to breastfeed at three months old. 

Love her... undoubtedly.

And as for the superficial stuff,  shockingly, that's the surprising part.  She looks an awful lot like her daddy and a lot less like me.  But that's OK.

But the crazy part is the blonde haired expectation.  Because my little girl is turning into a redhead.  A REDHEAD!!  Believe it or not!  Blonde turning to strawberry, and seriously threatening to turn ginger.  And I love it!  The blue eyes are still in place, though. Whew!  At least it's not all surprises.

As for the rest of my expectations, I haven't figured that out yet.  I know that a lot of parents talk about their hopes and dreams for their children.  I've never had hopes that are as specific as a career.  But I have hoped for her happiness, for her success, for love.  And I don't doubt that Cora will have those things, even if their forms take different shapes that I may have thought.  I don't know whether she'll ever marry or give me grandchildren.  But I guess no one ever really knows those things.

As we start out celebrating the life that she is beginning, though, it's hard not to plot some rushes.  To expect so much.  To love her oh so much.

Chubby Baby Nick

Baby Leah

Looks like she may have gotten her cheeks from me

1 comment:

  1. You plotted a rush and you got it! So glad the initial health scares seem to be behind you - little Cora seems very healthy and happy! Such cute pictures - as always!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!