Dakotah left to go to NH with my sister, so its just the three of us this week. It always surprises me how much I miss her so quickly. To think in just three short years, I'll be sending her off to university - it seems too crazy to even comprehend. She is trying at times, and can sometimes push all of my buttons, but I love her so much and really like her as a person. If we were just two 15 year olds, (or two 44 year olds for that matter!), I think we would be best friends.
We went to Parc Safari - a place where you roll down your windows, or open your van doors, and the animals come right up to see you. It was pretty neat having deer, yaks, zebras, giraffes, ostriches, alpacas, and a whole host of other animals stick their heads right in the back seat! Paige loved it as you can imagine.
Being away from home was interesting this time. Paige is still having to use her adaptive stroller when we are out - she walks holding our hand but only for very short distances. It was funny to see how many times Wayne commented that places weren't very accessible - he doesn't often take her out for errands or places where he has to go in and out of a lot - so he was quite surprised when something appeared accessible, until there was a lip on the sidewalk, or a doorway not quite wide enough.
We shopped in a huge mall, and for the first time in years and years, I was very aware of people doing a double take when we walked by. Kids and adults alike would turn around and stare or look at Paige for a few minutes - it was very strange, as I haven't noticed this at all for a very long time.
I really think it was more that she was in her stroller than it was that she has T21. I actually wonder if it is because she doesn't initially appear to have anything wrong with her, and that's why so many had to stop and look - she just looks like an older kid in a big stroller!
We never felt offended by it, just curious to why it seemed to happen so much this last week.
I think, too, that I am more aware of her differences since we had the meeting with Dr. Doyle. Or maybe its because she is really starting to grow into a young lady that I'm thinking about it a lot. I sure miss that baby of mine!! I tell you, when people say silly comments like, "she'll always be like a child," they really don't know what they are talking about.
Just like Dakotah has grown and spread her wings, Paige is as well. Perhaps she is a bit more subtle about it, but I see her working hard for her own independence - pushing me away in the pool so she could swim the length of it freely; welcoming hugs and kisses for bedtime, but then letting me know that she's had enough; seeing her trying hard to be with the "big girls" this week - wanting to be between Dakotah and her friend Jess when they were on messenger, or facebooking - giggling at them, and trying to get them giggling back - acting silly to get their attention - so typical, so normal of a younger sister to do - and so very sweet to watch.