October 2, 2012

Unexpected talents....

When Hannah was little I expected a lot out of her.  I had grand plans for her.  She would be able to speak well, be really smart, have a driver's license, and basically be the most amazing person with Down syndrome EVER.

I gradually weaned myself from lofty goals.  It took me a while to discover that Hannah is going to be who she's meant to be, not who I want to mold her to be.   Yes, we keep high expectations--that means she should be able to behave appropriately in a wide variety of social settings and able to take care of herself independently (laundry, dishes, cooking-enough-to-not-starve-when-nobody-is-home, household chores and responsibilities).

It was only a few years ago that I realized that Hannah was the one who would make the goals.   At this point, I don't really see Hannah learning to drive.  And that's because it's not one of her goals.  At least, it's not on her list right now.   I'm not going to force it on her--and even if I did, it wouldn't be her idea, it would be mine, and so I'd have to be the one to do all the legwork and shoveling information into her.   And that doesn't work for me.  And it especially doesn't work for Hannah.

I was aware of self-determination a long time ago.  It just took me a while to let go of my fairy tale.

Hannah is in the process of creating her own fairy tale.   She's got all kinds of talents that I never expected.  Who would have expected that the girl who played piano for years would take a turn to the wild side?   (don't answer that.)

Yes, Bass guitar lessons have begun.
And she's in a choir now, and actually singing.

Never in a million years would I have imagined that any of my children would have an artistic bent.  Hannah has always been an avid artist, but I never expected her talent.
The Fire Brigade

Interior Design (Horses and Fire Station #19)

A few new Angry Bird sketches!

Another unexpected talent she has is acting.  She loves to perform.  She could live on the stage.

Real Life Ariel and Merida
Yes, that is Hannah on stage with Jason Mraz.

Did you know that Hannah has encyclopedic knowledge about dog breeds?   Isn't that odd? And amazing?

This is a Greyhound, a breed that likely originated in Egypt.
Sports?   Nobody in our family plays sports.  That is, except Hannah.   None of us are coordinated.   Swimming, Softball, Soccer, Dance.

And then there's the just plain great sense of humor and silliness:

I try to keep an open mind, and not have preconceived notions, but my girl is so multi-faceted and she keeps on surprising us.   This isn't what we expected.   It's so much more.  And we love it.


Stephanie G said...

I really love Hannah's art.

Also, this: "It took me a while to discover that Hannah is going to be who she's meant to be, not who I want to mold her to be." Substitute Nick for Hannah in that sentence and you get the thing I struggle with regularly and remind myself just about every day. Great post!

goldenleaves said...

This is such a great post!! I love that she has encyclopedic knowledge of dog breeds. I'm the family dog guru :)

My Lauren is almost 8 months old and has Down syndrome. When I see how genuinely happy your Hannah looks my heart is filled with hope anew.

Anna said...

I agree with the previous two comments. I love how you are stepping back and are letting her dream for herself and set her own goals. She and I are a lot alike. I wish my parents had done the same thing- I know they meant well! Life has taken so many turns for our daughter this summer that I am having to let go of MY dreams for her and give it all back to God. Beautiful post!

Tricia said...

A most amazing post about a most amazing girl! Thank you!

Becca said...

Ah, I have so much to learn from you and Hannah...awesome, awesome post!

Unknown said...

I love this post! Hannah is quite the artist.......she could definitely teach me a thing or two since I can only sort of draw stick people. I love that you are letting her take the lead and show everyone where her talents lie and what she wants to do. It's such a great message for all of us with smaller kiddos. My Owen is only 3, but it is so awesome to know that things like this could be in his future.