Kevin's piece on parenting Coraline
Here is a piece Kevin wrote about the day Coraline was born, which I’d like to share on World Down Syndrome Day today:
‘Here I was with a very different reality to my expectations. “What would our life be like?” I thought. “Would she be able to live a normal life?” Would she get married?” Negative possibilities began to develop in my mind for what felt like a minute or two before I looked down at Liz holding our tiny little baby girl, who we had been so excited to finally meet and I felt only pride, love and happiness. I knew then that being a dad would be all that I had dreamed it would be, and we would thrive. Liz did find it challenging initially but she had carried Coraline for nine months and had just been through a Caesarean and had all of the hormones, emotions and medications to deal with, on top of that huge surprise.
It’s key to stay energised and positive - that’s the first time as a dad you can help to carry that parenting responsibility.
We always have a choice on how we react to any situation that doesn’t go the way we expect. Ever since that initial moment of shock, I have only ever felt pure joy when I see Coraline’s sweet little smile or see her reach a developmental milestone in her own time.
We have had some additional challenges along the way due to Coraline having Down Syndrome, such as open heart surgery last November, but we approached that with the same choice - to simply believe that everything would work out well. And so it did.
We don’t compare, and we don’t get down when we see her age group advancing quicker than Coraline does. We love and accept Coraline exactly as she is, and we are grateful for every single moment she has given us.’
(Beautiful photos taken by my brother @superreel_productions at the weekend, Coraline aged 19 months).