Regardless of the number of chromosomes in our cells, I truly believe that we all have endless possibilities ahead of us.
Each time I tell Olivia’s story, which is less frequently these days, I am asked, “Will she be able to get married? Will she have kids?”
My answer? Who knows?
Who knows where she’ll be, emotionally, intellectually, cognitively when she’s an adult.
These days, she’s doing so well. She’s holding her own in her kindergarten class, a class that is full of typical kids, kids who have all their chromosomes, kids who spent no time in the NICU, who probably walked by the time they were a year old.
But again, who cares when they walked or started talking?
I’ve met so many people in the 5p- community, people who weren’t diagnosed until adulthood and then, only because they had a child who was diagnosed. These people have full, rich lives. They’ve gone to college, gotten married, had children.
I feel a little freer being able to say I don’t know if Olivia will be able to do those things. Freer because by saying I don’t know, I’m not saying she won’t do those things.
We all have the potential for amazing things in our life. And everyone defines amazing differently.
We also all have the potential for tragedy. Just because I have all of my chromosomes doesn’t mean I won’t be in a life-altering accident and suddenly be dependent on others to care for me for the rest of my life.
Even before we had a diagnosis for Olivia, I’ve said I don’t want to limit her. I don’t want to tell her what she can and can’t do.
So when she tells me that someday, she’s going to get married and wear a beautiful white dress at her wedding, I smile and nod and ask her to tell me more about her dress. When she pretends to be a mommy to her dolls, I tell her she’s a fabulous mommy and I can’t wait to hold her babies for her.
When she asks me what she’s going to be when she grows up, where she’s going to work and where she’s going to live, I tell her that all of that is up to her. She can be whatever she wants, work where she wants, live where she wants.
I’m lucky that right now, she still wants to live with me forever.
I tell Olivia the same things I tell Alyssa, that they have big, beautiful, unlimited futures. What else can I say? Why live life as if there are limits?
To quote Aquamarine, “Why go through life unnoticed?”
I want the world to notice my two beautiful, amazing, limitless girls. I want those two girls to live a life without fear, without limits, without someone standing to the side and saying, “Oh, she can’t do that. She’s a girl/has a syndrome/whatever limit society/someone might want to put on them.”
I want them to laugh at boundaries and then jump right over them. I want that for both of them and right this second? I can’t see any reason not to raise them both as if their future is not bright, brilliant, limitless.