By: Megan Fortman/
When we’re children we daydream about what we’re going to be like when we are adults. We just can’t wait to grow up. “It’s going to be so great”, we tell ourselves. No rules, no bed times, and no boundaries. The picture we paint in our mind is flawless. The possibilities are limitless and our confidence is endless. We look up to our parents, police officers, doctors, super heroes, and princesses. We see nothing but good in other people. Differences are interesting and we want to learn more, more, more.
Unfortunately this outlook is short lived. The older we get we lose sight of our mentors. We lose sight of the people who are making our dreams a reality. Being different and standing out becomes scary and beating the odds seems impossible. Next thing you know we allow the rest of the world to tell us what we’re capable of and begin to judge others on their capabilities. Then without our permission, we can grow too passive or too stubborn to reach our full potential.
In the blink of an eye we are blessed with the title of Mom or Dad and it becomes our job to raise well rounded people. We want so badly for them to bottle up that never ending confidence, forgiveness, and acceptance yet we struggle to live that way as adults.
I not only get to call myself a Mom but I am also blessed with the title of a special needs Mom. I like to think that by being a special needs parent I was given a second chance. Since Amelia came into this world, I often find myself in a room full of children or adults with special needs and I cannot help but notice a change. My voice is gentler, my choice of words sweeter and my mannerisms softer. I find such comfort in being in a room full of people who know nothing of passing judgment.
Why is it that the best versions of ourselves are brought out by people with different abilities- yet we are afraid to be their parents? What if we never started judging other people? What if we never doubted ourselves? What if we never lost sight of our mentors and our capabilities or judged others on theirs? What if we never stopped trying to be the best versions of ourselves and brought people up with us?
I am so thankful Amelia chose me. I am thankful for the second chance to remember what I love about myself. I am thankful to fight for her equality as it reminds me what we are capable of. I am thankful to be reminded daily how amazing it feels to stand out and be different. I am thankful she teaches this lesson to all that know her. I am thankful to be reminded how important our mentors are. I am thankful one of mine presents itself in a big blue eyed baby girl.
Life is too short not to be the best version of you. Surround yourself with the people who remind you what you love about yourself. Be the person who stands out by standing up for who and what you believe in. Do your part to change the world for the better and our children will follow suit.
Hello I’m Megan Fortman! Just your typical wife and Mom driving a big ol’ van full of crazy cute kids, trying to wear real pants as little as possible and drink as much coffee as humanly possible. I have spent majority of my life on one road in Tecumseh and am a Tecumseh high school graduate. There is no where I would rather raise my family than here in this perfectly small town. I am constantly on a mission to share our very normal lives that happens to be enhanced with an extra chromosome. I can’t think of a better place to break the stigmas on Down Syndrome with one Amelia smile at a time.