Monday, September 26, 2011

Could I Do More?

There are times when I think about my children and I begin to ask myself, “Could I do more?”

This question seems to be more frequent when it comes to Nina and Nichole, since they have more challenges than typical children do.

With Nina, I find myself asking that question when it comes to her physical development. Should I stretch her more? Should we do more strength building exercises? Should we practice walking more often? Could I do more?

Yet, for the last 2 weeks, I feel this question keeps coming up when I think about Nichole. Could I do more?

I recently read a memoir about having a child with Down syndrome. (I will be writing a review soon, so stay tuned for that because I will also have a giveaway) I believe this is when this question began nagging at me, especially in the area of speech. Nichole’s greatest challenge is speech. We have communication going but speech has been slow…and hard. It does not help that Nichole is very shy and will not talk to anyone she does not know well. This basically means she only talks to her family.

At school, Nichole has taken her time to feel comfortable enough to talk to her teachers. She did not talk for quite a while. One of the teachers is fluent in sign language (2 members of her family are deaf, so she can sign as well as she talks), and they quickly realized that Nichole was responding better that way. Last Friday I was blown away when the teacher talked to Nichole and Nichole responded back to her with signs. Not just a sign here or there like we do at home, but I mean she actually said a sentence with sign language. Should I have pushed myself to learn sign language in order to give her better communication? Could I do more?

I also fall in the trap of comparing. As Down syndrome awareness month approaches, I am reading about children Nichole’s age and all they are able to do. How well they speak, how well they enunciate words, how well they sight read, how well they count. Could I do more?

Yet Nichole is Nichole. Her love for life makes us stare at her in wonder, with goofy grins plastered on our faces. She is great! How we love this child and how she has changed us!

The thing is, Nichole will speak. Sure, it will take her longer, but she will speak. Nichole will count, she will write, she will read, and she will excel in the areas where she is talented. We love her, and we are proud of her. So proud of her.

Could I do more? I am sure I could do more for all  my girls, but for now, I know I do what I can. And that is good enough.


  1. Oh Ellen, I always enjoy reading your words about being a Mom to those precious girls! Each of them are so special, & you are doing a wonderful job... I know our girls would just love them! Although I do not have personal experience with a child with Down Syndrome- I agree that we ALL wonder if there is more we can be doing for our children... should we read them a story, or wash the dishes!?... should we teach them to read, or should we let them play play-doh!? It's all such a tricky balancing act. I'm so glad that God gives us His sweet grace to fill in our gaps, & He gives us the strength to do our best to do what we can!
    {{I was also wondering if it would be alright if I linked to your blog in October for Down Syndrome awareness month!? Let me know! :)}}

  2. Ellen,

    I understand why you would wonder if you could do more with all of your kids, including Nichole. But then, each child is unique, special needs or not. As you said, Nichole will speak, write, read, etc. But she will do so at her own pace. So don't drive yourself nuts about what more you could have done because you LOVE her and that's what matters the most!

  3. So funny! I've just been having the same thoughts, and about speech, too. Feeling like I need to do more. Just not sure what. Thinking of some different ideas.

  4. Jessica, feel free to link my blog during October for Down syndrome Awareness Month!


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