I used to get kind of jealous when I saw other babies smile because I was still waiting for my own baby to share that full faced expression with me.
I would become worried when I saw younger babies who had Down syndrome smile in ways that Vada had not yet come close to doing herself. I would wonder what damage was caused from her seizures. Was she happy? Am I doing something wrong? Would she ever smile like those other babies? Would her lips ever stretch from ear to ear or would her eyes ever light up with excitement? The answer is both yes and no. No, she would never smile like those other children because she would find her own smile. And yes, her eyes would glow a very powerful glow.
A smile is a precious gift. It has a power that can illuminate a room or melt a heart and when it comes from your own child it can renew your strength and nourish your soul, that's what Vada's smiles do for me.
It took a long time for Vada to share a face stretching smile with us but she now does it every day, even when you would least expect her to.
And each smile that she shares is magical!
Is she always happy? No, that's a common misconception that's associated with Down syndrome, but over all she is one of the happiest babies around!
And through her, we have learned to smile and laugh more. We have learned to cherish each and every gift that we are given through not just her but from all of our children.
Sometimes I take things that seem little, like smiles, for granted. I forget how long I waited and how my heart once ached in anticipation to see them, but its on days like these, when Vada has non stop giggles straight from her sweet little belly, that brings it all back and waiting has been well worth it!