I brought Ian and Chase while Bryan stayed home with Gavin, who was running a fever accompanied by some mystery rash, which is never a good combination at an outdoor summer picnic infested with children.
The older boys had a BALL, though. Chase thoroughly enjoyed running through the sprinklers, eating giant cookies, and traipsing up and down the stairs a thousand times. I think I saw Ian maybe 3 times, when he came in from the playground or the splash pad to get food...he has developed such good friendships with some of the other siblings. I know that at this point, they are just fun kids to play with at these events, but I know that in the future, these are going to be the friends that will understand an area of his life that he may struggle with...No gloom and doom here, but let's be honest. Someday Chase is going to do or say stuff that will be embarrassing to a teenager trying his best to fit in. Kids are brutal, and Ian will be put in positions where he might not like to be. These sibling friendships are going to be there to back him up...just as my friendships with their parents help me get through tough periods in our journey. (And I confess, I secretly hope that Ian grows up and marries Michael's sister, Emily, and then Michael and Chase can be brothers!)
We had so much fun, and yet it was a bittersweet experience, too. I sat and watched my fellow picnic-ers, and realized that 3 years ago, I had a teeny baby with an extra chromosome, a lot of doubts, and an overwhelming urge to 'just be normal again.' And now, I am the mom that I stared at and was comforted by when I watched as she played with her toddler in the sprinklers, or spotted as he climbed higher than she could reach on the playground, or who spoke with knowledge and authority on matters such as EI, prenatal diagnosis, and the EC preschool system. I am the mom that said everything was going to be okay (and believed it, well, most of the time!). I stood there and watched the new families, with their teeny tiny babies, with those beautiful almond eyes and the way that they melted right into their mother's arms...and I realized that I have begun to graduate. This is my last summer picnic with our baby group...and we MADE it! We did it! We grew up, we learned, and we leaned on each other...and look what happened!? My squishy baby turned into this boy, and we're here to tell about it.
The next regime...Branson and Sophia- I couldn't resist posting this photo of these two cuties. I think they are already courting...