Friday, October 26, 2012

21 Things About Abby (Part 3)

And here are your final seven...

15. Abby is a prayer warrior - Abby has always been good about praying. There have been nights when she will spontaneously include a friend or family member in her nightly prayers, because for some reason they came to mind. I always think that for some reason they may need a bit of prayer. She also routinely reminds us to pray before we eat, and always makes us follow the prayer with the clapping J-E-S-U-S song, punctuated at the end with, "Amen! Let's eat!" Yesterday, at her parent/teacher conference her teachers mentioned that every day, before she eats her snack she will fold her hands, bow her head, and say thanks. They both smiled as they said she also includes a prayer of thanksgiving for them. I was humbled by her simple faith.

I caught this one of Abby praying one day - it remains one of
my favorites.
16. Stuck in the mud - As you may know Abby is a fan of Tinker Bell. In one of the movies, Vidia (a "fast flying fairy") gets stuck in the mud. Abby loves that part where all the fairies pull and tug, trying to get her out of the mud. She loves it so much that every time I want her to get out of the tub, I have to "pull" her out, like Vidia. She will raise her arm, let out a dramatic grunt, and tell me, "I'm stuck in the mud!" I will play my expected part by theatrically tugging and "trying" my hardest to get her unstuck. Eventually she pops up, exclaiming, "I did it!"

Typical Barbie legs around here.
17. Barbies are for chewing - For the longest time we had to watch Abby carefully, because if she had a Barbie and was quiet, she was sure to have it in her mouth. For some reason she found the feet and hands of her Barbies wonderful to chew. There was a time when it seemed that all her Barbies had flat hands and no feet. Happily she is pretty much past that phase, but there are still times when we catch her with an extra yummy pair of feet in her mouth.

18. Miss Manner's would approve - Before Abby spoke she had a wonderful sign vocabulary. At her "peak" signing time she had a vocabulary that reached about 60 words. Of course we started with "more" and "milk", but we also made it a point to include, "please" and "thank you" - that was a must. This has paid off because I have had numerous adults tell me that Abby is one of the most polite kids they know. I'm proud to say that there have been times when teachers have come up to me and said, "Out of the whole class, Abby was the only one that said, 'thank you' when I handed out the snack." It is so ingrained in her that when she wakes up in the middle of the night, and drowsily asks for a drink of water, she will say, "Excuse me" if she lets out a little burp - despite the fact that she's half asleep.

19. One tough cookie - Along with being polite, Abby is tough. There have been times when she's banged into something, or taken a spill that I knew had to hurt, but she often just gets up, rubs the spot, and continues on. Several years ago she took a spill that split the bottom of her chin open. We knew it was bad and took off right to the hospital. She did some crying, but not much. She was more worried that I would want to take a look. Even when she had her finger episode earlier this year, she didn't really start crying until she saw me. Sometimes I wish I were as tough as she is.

20. Imagine that! - I've talked about Abby's awesome imagination, but I've really noticed lately that she takes it to a whole other level. Sometimes she will feign an injury, and in the past it has worked for me to put a pretend band-aid on it, now that just won't cut it. The thing is, she will "remove" the pretend band-aid and hand it back to me while she's telling me that wasn't what she wanted. Tonight she asked for an extra vitamin, not realizing that I'd already given her two. I "gave" her a pretend vitamin and she reached in her mouth, grabbed air, and placed the pretend vitamin into my hand. I think that Robert De Niro would approve.

21. Abby changes people....for the better - Abby has a way about her, I can't explain it, but I've watched it and experienced it. I've watched Abby effortlessly enthrall people and brighten their days, but for some people it goes deeper than that. I could give you a list of people that have changed because of her - and I would be at the top of that list. Abby makes me a better person. She has expanded my capacity for love and patience, she has helped me grow in ways I could never had imagined, and she has blown away any stereotypes I held about people with Down syndrome, and people in general - Abby has been the most effective teacher I've ever had. The most amazing thing though, is that I will never know the real number of those whose lives she's changed....and the cool thing is that I know she's just barely begun.

There you have it, 21 things about my lovely little girl. I hope you've enjoyed them.

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