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Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Little Old Man

The "Old Man Stare-Down"

I feel a very strong connection to Miles. Does every mother feel that? What if you have more than one child, do you feel that same level of connection with each of them? I don’t know, but the connection I feel to Miles is very cosmic. That is obvious to me since I happen to believe that we are all connected on the level of our souls. But although I am connected to everyone and everything in the Universe, I don’t feel connected with everyone.

He is my baby, he lived inside my body for 9 1/2 months, of course I feel him more than any other human being. Of course! But still, it’s amazing to me. It still catches me by surprise sometimes. Especially because when he was first born, I didn’t “recognize” him. I thought I knew him so well that when I would first lay eyes on him, I would say, “there you are” or “welcome back” or something like that. But when I first laid eyes on Miles, my reaction was, “wait what? I don’t know you”.

I wonder if my expectations where blinding me at the time. Or maybe it’s just that I know him now and when I look into his eyes, I see who he is. I couldn’t see him 15 months ago. Of course, his photographs show the same look. Same soul behind those eyes, a soul that I now feel I’ve known for ages. I don’t know….maybe it was my expectations, maybe it’s just my narrow mind which has now been opened a little bit more, maybe it’s just time. Whatever it is, I know those eyes now. I know his soul. And I love it!

Miles is like a little old man sometimes. Certain looks and actions remind me of a little old man in a tiny village in Tuscany, sitting outside his home all day, people watching. The way Miles leans back on his high chair with his foot dangling to the side, totally relaxed like he’s done this a million times. The way he can sometimes stare at me (or anyone) for minutes on end with a serious poker face, only to crack a smile with a twinkle in his eye, once you give in to his staring contest. The way he takes people in, cautiously, curiously and then makes his decisions about them! You can tell when he’s sized you up, just like a little old man people watching all day long in a Tuscan village. It's so endearing to me. Miles is also so gentle and empathetic, yet he can sometimes be rough and have a hard time containing himself when he's excited. And when he's mad, oh man, his look could kill!

His face can show like 20 expressions in a minute. Everything he is feeling and thinking shows in his face, except when he wants to hide it. Like when he's doing the staring contest. How does he do that? Do other kids have stare downs at such a young age?

I don't know, but I find it entertaining and endearing and totally awesome.

In the last week, Miles has been hanging out with his cousin Maya every day. They are so darn cute together. They have hugged and held hands and pet each other's heads. Unfortunately, Miles bit Maya's finger yesterday and made her cry! Since he's teething, he will bite anything that comes close to his mouth. And Maya's finger got way too close to his mouth. So down he chomped with his 4 tiny, jagged and very rough teeth. And he wouldn't let go! Poor Maya. I know her pain, he's bit me so hard I've almost cried too!

But we are thrilled that he's finally getting some more teeth. He's had the bottom two for months with no signs of other teeth, just tons and tons of slobber everywhere. Finally, I saw some white on the top row about a week ago, then another little line of white where another tooth was poking through. And we thought that was it. But during a little crying fit, when his mouth was wide open, I saw two more teeth up there! So he's got the top four teeth coming in for a total of six teeth. The better to chew with!

Miles also had his 15 month check-up this week and I'm happy to report that he is in the 80th percentile for height and weight in the Down syndrome growth charts! He is a very proportionate little dude. And his pediatrician said that his muscle tone is really good right now, which I already knew but is nice to hear from a professional. In a couple of months he gets his vision test, but we're not too worried. So far, it looks like his vision is great.

Seriously, I couldn't be luckier. There are so many health complications associated with Down syndrome, and Miles hasn't had any. None. Knock on wood. But seriously. Not even the ear infections that are so prevalent from colds and his small ear canals. He seems to have a cold every other month and yet no fevers, no ear infections, nothing.

I was thinking the other day how more and more I forget that Miles has Down syndrome. Ok, well, I don't forget completely, but I don't think about it all the time. In most ways, he seems just like any other little kid his age. So he can't walk and his features are tiny and he has therapy all the time....but these are all just parts of life now. If I stop and think about, if I'm around a bunch of other "typical" kids, the differences become more obvious. But why dwell on that? We are all different and wonderful and unique, right?

I am very happy and so grateful for my beautiful, funny and healthy child. So grateful!


  1. Mama Loreni, a mother so full of love, compassionate gratitute, wise understanding, and honest expression from the heart. xoxo

  2. I love this post, especially about the Tuscan old man....