They'll shine in their own time...

I posted a video 
of Lexi on my
Facebook last week.

Sweet girl is rockin'. 

She started walking 
at 18 months
and now she is
walking down 2 stairs
without a railing.

Lila started walking when
she was a month shy
of her third birthday.
I'll never forget the day.

If I sat and compared them
on their walking skills alone,
Lila would  come up short.

Here's a video of
Lila when she was
5 months older
than Lexi is today. 

Lexi has about 
10 words/signs
that she uses
and only about 5
of them are consistent.
She cannot identify
one letter of the alphabet. 
She's too busy running
around to bother 
with much else. 

Two girls,
both with Down syndrome,
raised in the
same family,
are very different
from each other.


Recently a nice lady 
said to me:
You should meet this
little one with DS!
He/she uses over 20 signs
and he/she is  2 years old!
His/her  mom is amazing!
She works with him/her all the time!
And he/she is so smart!!  
Obviously I am not revealing
the sex of the child that is
being referred to in
this conversation.
It's not relevant information.

What's relevant to me
is how those words
hurt my feelings.
Left me feeling defensive.
I almost said,
"Well, I try to work
with Lexi but she won't
sit still long enough to
really accomplish anything!"
But I didn't.
I just said,
"Oh, really?  That's awesome!"
 I'm sure...
 the mom is amazing,
 she works with the kid a lot,
and the kid is smart. 

I'm also sure that
there are a lot of moms
out there who are amazing,
who work with their kids a lot,
whose kids are smart.

Their kids may never use 
one sign, much less 20.
And their kids may never 
speak a word.

It doesn't make them
less amazing...
the moms or the kids.      


I used to think
that Lila was so advanced
in speech at a young age
because of me.
Because I worked with her a lot.
And while I'm sure that had 
something to do with it,
it was mostly just because
that is what Lila's forte was
at the time.    


I love this quote from
The Water Giver:

Motherhood is about raising 
and celebrating the child you have, 
 not the child you thought you would have. 
 It's about understanding that he is exactly 
the person he is supposed to be. 
And that, if you're lucky, 
he just might be the teacher who turns you 
into the person you are supposed to be.”

And these scattered lyrics
from the song "Shine"
by Rachel Coleman.

"Sometimes I see you stuck
for such a long time.
A daily nothing new...
pretend I don't mind."

"You'll shine in your own time."

"You've taught me in your
lifetime more than
I've learned in mine."

And substituting the names of my girls
in the next part...

And Lexi will do what Lexi will do 
when Lexi's ready to do it.
 And Lila will do what Lila will do
when Lila's ready to do it.

And they'll do it...
in their own time.
They'll shine...    


  1. They already do shine. And I know you beat yourself up way more than you should but you are much better about NOT beating yourself up than you used to be! I am so proud of you and you ARE an amazing mom with four, beautiful, amazing kids, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, talents and gifts.

    This is a lovely, insightful post and I loved seeing the videos and remembering the old ones of Lila and seeing how far she's come. I remember watching them over and over!

  2. This really made me cry...because it's SO TRUE!!! I only have one child with Down syndrome, but in the beginning I couldn't help but compare him to other kids with Down syndrome. And in some ways he fell short, but in some ways he was AMAZING! I'm getting comfortable with the fact that Elijah is close to three and still not walking independently, because man that kid has a sense of humor. His strengths aren't in gross motor, they are more social and it's all good. As you pointed out so beautifully, they all shine in their own time. It seems our journey is more about realizing that...

  3. Beautiful post with words I needed to hear! Your girls are shining and they are wonderful.

  4. Beautiful post, mama!! Oh, how I needed to hear these words today! I am struggling with "Where Madi should be" and am I doing enough right now. You are right.....our girl's will do what they are going to do when they are ready to do it!

  5. Loved seeing the comparison between them. This is always a good reminder to have. Thanks.

  6. I love this post! Kids, all kids, have their strengths and weaknesses. I think it can be especially hard, knowing our kids have delays, and then wanting them to shine among their peers because that may be the only time they are "ahead".

  7. Awesome and honest and true. Thanks!

  8. We all do our best and every kid is different with disability or not and they do their best. They are people, they have their own talents just like you and me. That woman should not have said that. It is hurtful. She does not know anything about you or your child. Like I always if words hurt, keep them to yourself.

  9. You know this reminded me when I was in playgroup for Alex and this one mom always compared Alex to her son and basically put Alex down. Needless to say, I stopped going to that playgroup.