The East Side Moms group hosted a Mom's night out this past week. We had six members show up that night and I think we ordered about half of the menu at Latitudes Cafe in Anderson Township. I like going there because not only were the owners the best men in our wedding, but they also share a birthday with Wyatt. Good men, good day, good food.
Our groups' conversation started with the usual catch up with how everyone is, and reminding each other of names of kids, etc. for those of us that hadn't seen each other in a while. Attendees included Tika, Callie, Missy, Melissa, Kelly and myself. We ordered our drinks and food. Soon plates arrived and were passed and shared. Our conversation was light at first. Our book club book was passed to those of us who hadn't had one yet. We're reading Kelle Hampton's Bloom and we briefly discussed it. Then, as if on cue, our Kelly proposed a poignant question:
"Would you take it away?" she asked.
I knew what she meant immediately: Would we take Down syndrome away from our children, if we could?
I was surprised by my immediate reaction: "Yes," I said emphatically.
But then I paused and thought, and listened. Other Mom's chimed in. I heard a few "no's": it's not something they'd change because of how it's affected their lives. Others agreed with my response and said "yes": they wouldn't want their child to struggle if they could choose. I think we were about half split. Either Tika or Missy commented that she loves how we can be talking about something light one moment and heavy the next without skipping a beat. I agreed, then I pulled back and thought, "you know, maybe I'm not so sure about my answer."
To be honest, I don't know if I would take it away or not. Part of me says no, it's what we were given. Part of me says yes, I want Wyatt to have the least difficult life possible. But I think it was a poignant question because earlier this week I was describing my bout with the What If's and the Why Me's. This question falls right in there, with a twist. But how do I even start to rationalize my answer to this question - on either end? Do we look at a disability like Down syndrome in the same capacity as Cancer or Blindness or ADD, even? If my child was sick and dying with Cancer, would I want to take that away? Yes. Blind? Not sure. ADD...? Nah...I'm pretty sure Eden has taken after me and is equally affected by that disorder, lol. Would I take away any of my children's other genetic traits? Eden has blonde hair and doesn't look like me. Would I change that? No, that's silly.
Wyatt isn't "sick" and he's not dying, at least not anymore than the rest of us. Will he have some uphill battles? Absolutely. So what? So will the rest of us. If we take the Down syndrome away, what else are we missing? What other things has that brought, or will bring, which completely enriches our lives? Would I take away what God has given us?
At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter if I would take it away or not. I don't have the option and it's futile to try and dreamily envision a different path. Wyatt is Wyatt. Eden is Eden. I have two great kids, just as they are. Just as HE made them.
And besides, if I took away Down syndrome, I would have never had the chance to sit down and have dinner with those five [EXTRA]ordinary women and have an awesome conversation on a random Tuesday evening.