Saturday, November 7, 2009
Extraordinarily Ordinary or Exceptionally Typical
I often write about my boys (maybe because they give me a lot to write about) but today I want to write about my daughter. Danielle does not come with any labels....nothing like the boys...she is extraordinarily ordinary or exceptionally typical. From little on Danielle has always been an extremely content, sweet and unbelievably patient child. She had to be, because she had two brothers that tended to get a lot of attention.
When Danielle was little we heard a song that was written just for her: "God Must Have Spent A Little More Time On You". Danielle was a happy baby, she smiled more than she cried and her family members were her favorite toys. As she grew her outgoing and pleasant personality grew with her. Now at the age of 12 we joke about her being "a ray of sunshine". Danielle has a fantastic sense of humor, she is quick witted and obviously got the sarcastic gene from her mother and father. Danielle has always made me laugh when honestly there were times I could have cried. But she is my "partner in tears" during sad movies, Extreme MakeOver Shows and when life has dealt us a hit. She is so like me...I have often called her my carbon copy. If you compare our baby pictures we look identical; at my parents 50th anniversary party I noticed Danielle was staring at a picture on the mural. I asked her, "What's wrong". She said, "I don't remember having an outfit like that." I told her, "You're right, you didn't, that's me." Oh, and she is my fashion consultant. Danielle has always enjoyed shows like, "What Not To Wear", "America's Next Top Model", "Runway"... We love and live for our mother and daughter get aways...our shopping trips with of course lunch or dinner out as an added benefit. We have even learned how to shop with Sam, it's a little bit like tag team, but we can still get through a store.
Danielle has never really struggled with school, her teachers love her and she never has to be told to do her homework, she just gets it done. I don't for a moment take for granted what a blessing that is. Danielle has team read stories with her older brother, helped him spell words and has a pretty good understanding of Dyslexia. She has heard enough about it, we often joke about her Dad and brother's Dyslexic moments and she lives and understands it. Ben and Danielle are only two years apart at 12 and 14, so the rivalry is there...and she will occasionally ask me when we can ship Ben off to military school, but they get along and actually enjoy each others company on vacations and hanging out at home (Ben would probably disagree, but that's the teenager talking). She helps me teach and do therapy with Sam. She simply loves Sam and he loves her, she has never been embarrassed by him or uncomfortable having Sam around her friends...she has gotten mad at him for messing up her room or ripping a favorite shirt...but that's about it. I have enjoyed listening in as she explains Sam to her friends. She will tell them he has Down syndrome and a brain injury and other stuff but that really just means it takes him longer to learn things. She just doesn't make a big deal about it, if they have questions, she answers them but she usually explains, "He's Sam and he's the best little brother in the world". How Danielle views her brothers is how I wish the world could view them...they are simply Ben and Sam or Dork and her Samster. Danielle will tell you they have their quirks but we all do, although she says hers are harder to identify...if they are even there...rrriiigghhhttt!!!
Along with the good points Danielle also picked up some of my bad habits...procrastination being the worst of them. Danielle and I excel at flying by the seat of our pants...deadlines mean you finally have to do it...but sometimes the pressure results in our best work. She also has my travel bug. We went on a road trip this summer...Danielle and I can look at a cabin tucked back from the road and immediately we wonder who lives there and what is their life like.....and the stories begin.
To Jeff and I she will forever be our Babers, Muttsy and Ray of Sunshine, we love you sweetie!
Danielle's patience is to be envied. Here she is teaching her little brother how to scooter. Sam's brain injury caused right side weakness so this was one of those PRICELESS moments between a sister and her little brother. ENJOY!!