Reagan has learned a new phrase this week. I'm not sure where she picked it up and I had to laugh the first time she said it because I'm not even sure she knew what it meant. She has however repeated it several times since and does indeed seem to know what she is saying. Imagine an adorable three foot tall person crossing her little arms and stomping her cute booted foot and saying "Mama, dat not fair!" Lucky for you when you bust out with a smile at the sheer funny cuteness of it you don't have to hide it from said small person. She said it to me again today when I made her stop drawing and come with me when she did not want to...so yeah I figure she knows what she's saying. And so begins the lesson we all must learn (though I'm fairly certain that way too many people never do), life is not fair. I ask my big girls all the time when they bust out with the "that's not fair" complaints (generally about something the other has that they want) do you really want it to be fair and equal? And of course they realize with a moments thought that they do not. Humans have that nasty habit...of complaining that "its not fair", without thinking through the consequences of fair and equal. Fair and equal does not mean we all get the same good stuff. It just means we are all the same. Nothing different or interesting can ever happen to us. We have to take the equal bad along with the equal good. We can't build meaningful lives or relationships because there is nothing to work with or even against. It ties into the sometimes difficult to accept idea that hard is not bad. Hard is not bad and fair is not good. Life is entirely too complex to break down into fair and not fair or to classify things simply into the file of bad or good. We will be a lot better off if we stop comparing, stop complaining and stop basing quality of ease and comfort.
This is a lesson that Reagan has taught me over the last five years. Is her extra chromosome fair? No! It isn't fair that she had to have open heart surgery at six months old and has been playing medical catch up ever since. It isn't fair that she has to work harder to learn things. It also isn't fair that she gets a larger dose of compassion for others. Its not fair that she doesn't have to work as hard to see the good in people. So how should we balance out the unfairness of it? Take away her extra chromosome? Or give it to everybody else? See, its too complex. October is one of my favorite months. It always has been because I love fall, but even more so now because I can combine that with Down syndrome awareness. October is a hard month for me because Reagan's first October was very challenging with too many appointments and too much to learn and too much fatigue. And every year that comes back and I usually don't realize that its weighing me down...that old tension...so I tend to feel stressed and overextended and don't even know why. That's not fair. But its also not fair to everybody else that I have a greater understanding of how to handle basic medical problems. It's not fair that I get all this attention from the writing and pictures I post....ok it's Reagan that really gets the attention, but I'm getting to sleepy to think through good examples. I hope you understand what I mean though. No life is not fair. Hard is not bad. Every experience, every day, every problem or relationship or interaction....hard or easy, positive or negative...shapes us, and do we really want to mess with that? Because it's not fair? I know I don't!