Nickelpicklemama's Blog

October 15, 2009

Fly!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by nickelpicklemama @ 9:18 am

I remember, just after Peter was born, being very afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing to my brother and sister in law. I would overthink and overanalyze everything, always hoping to not say anything that would insult their very tender feelings.
My brother is a pilot. He fell in love with flying at a very young age. He started pilot lessons at 13, had his first solo flight at 16, got his pilot’s license at 17. (The very day he was eligible) His entire life has been built upon flying: his career, his hobbies; heck, that’s even how he met his wife Julie.
From the moment Peter and Julie announced they were expecting, I began to collect airplane/pilot related gifts for their baby. How fun it was going to be for Pete to share his passion for flying with his son.
After Peter’s birth and diagnosis of Down syndrome, I wasn’t sure what I should do with all my gifts. It felt ridiculous; how could I give them these presents when it seemed obvious that Baby Peter would never be capable of becoming a pilot? (I feel the need to point out that I no longer feel this way; I think Peter is capable of just about anything!)
I finally decided that regardless of my hesitations, I would give my nephew his gifts. They were bought for him, and an extra chromosome shouldn’t negate his receiving them.
I walked into Julie’s hospital room, and nervously handed over my gift. It was a stuffed bear; a rather large bear, and he was dressed to the nines in pilot wear. He had it all: the bomber jacket, complete with faux fur trim, the white silk scarf, a leather cap, even little pilot goggles. I held my breath as I waited for their reaction.
My brother smiled, and said, “You know, you’re the first person to bring Peter anything pilot related. Thank you!”
Wow… How silly we had been. How terrible I still feel. My brother knew us well. He had been anticipating the pilot gifts, and they hadn’t come.
After that, the airplane related gifts started flying in. (No pun intended!) Little Peter has more airplane outfits, blankets, toys, etc than he’ll ever have need for. If he chooses to not love flying like his daddy, it’ll likely have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that he has Ds, and everything to do with the fact that he has been bombarded with airplane gifts ever since he was born.
I learned an important lesson that day; one that I’ll never forget. I have not since, and never again will, put my own limitations on my amazing nephew. For him, the sky is the limit. He is already soaring!

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