I can’t even believe that Mason is 1 year old. It feels like just yesterday Mason came into the world and changed my life forever.What an incredible year it has been. I never knew I could love someone this much. I love Tim with all my heart, but the love a parent has for their child….there are just no words to describe it. As I reflect on this past year, I not only think about how much Mason has changed, but I think about how much I have changed. My relationship with the Lord has become deeper. My relationship with Tim has become stronger. My relationship with my family and friends has grown closer. I’ve have even made new friends along the way. It’s amazing how much can change in a year.
My relationship with the Lord has become deeper. Currently, one of my favorite songs is “Oceans” by Hillsong United. These lyrics from the song are my daily prayer:
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
What a scary prayer that can be! God truly took me down a path where my feet would never have wandered on their own. But there is so much joy to be found down the scary and sometimes difficult path. For the past 5 months or so, I had been down about Mason’s progress. He plateaued developmentally around 6 months of age. That is right around where we started working on independent sitting. Week after week, the therapists pushed him. Week after week I worked with him. I grew frustrated. I was frustrated at Mason for not making any progress and frustrated at myself for not being able to make him progress. I was beating myself up about how much I was working with him outside of therapy. I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. Like I wasn’t good enough to be his mom. After all, it had to be my fault he wasn’t making any progress.
There finally came a day, about a month ago, when I was working with Mason. I was in tears, he was in tears, and I was at my breaking point. I cried out to God. I asked for strength and discernment on how to get Mason to where he needed to be developmentally. Then God placed it on my heart that it’s not about me and that I can’t do this on my own. This is a lesson that I am constantly needing a reminder of. God taught me to trust in his timing. Just like all other kids, Mason will do things at his own pace. I need to lean on the Lord for strength and trust in his perfect timing for Mason’s development. Shortly after, Mason became an independent sitter! Literally, over the course of a weekend, he went from only being able to sit bent over with both hands on the floor, to sitting straight up with no hands on the floor. His therapists were shocked when they came that next week! They were shocked that he went from not being able to do it without falling over, to doing it like the “poster child for independent sitting” as they called it. I can’t even begin to describe the amount of sheer joy that was felt when we’ve worked so hard on this for so many months. God is faithful. I can’t see what He has in store for Mason’s future, but as Jeremiah 29:11 says it, His plan is GOOD! I’m thankful for a God who does not give up on me, or Mason, and who is Sovereign and in control of all things.This story is just one example of the many things that God has taught me throughout this past year. I’m so thankful that God has chosen to grow my faith in this way.
My relationship with Tim has become stronger. From Mason’s prenatal diagnosis through Mason’s latest petechia scare, Tim has been my rock. His faith has been unwavering. He has been my biggest supporter and source of encouragement. He listens to me when I need to vent, and after a long day of work, he comes home and gives Mason a bottle because he knows I need a break. He brings home a movie and a bottle of wine on the days he knows I’m feeling defeated. He brings home flowers “just because” and laughs when I’m the one who “discovers” a blowout. He is my best friend and most handsome husband. Over the past year we have learned how important spending quality time together is. He’s made it a priority to have at least one date night a week either when Mason goes to bed, or when we can find a babysitter. These are my favorite nights! Parenthood has taken our relationship to a whole new level. Words can’t describe the sight of Tim playing with Mason and hearing Mason laugh hysterically. Or how Mason’s face lights up every time Tim comes home. Seeing Tim grow into his role of becoming a father over the past year has made me fall more in love with him than I even knew possible!
My relationship with family and friends has grown closer. Many of our family and friends came to the Buddy Walk last year when Mason was only a few months old to show their support for him.
Additionally, many of our family and friends have shown their support by donating to Gigi’s Playhouse Indianapolis in honor of Mason. Tim and I are truly blown away by all of your generosity. The amount of love we feel from all of you is unfathomable. We can’t thank you enough for your help in bringing this wonderful facility to Indianapolis. It will play such a huge role in our lives. We are forever grateful to all of you.
I’d also like to say a huge thank you to Tim’s coworkers. Tim is so blessed to work with such amazing people who have a heart for Mason and this cause. From all of their donations, to the bulletin board, to the bake sale, I’m truly in awe of all of their support. We are forever grateful to all of you as well.
For those who have not donated and would like to, this is the last week for donations. You may donate here: http://gigisplayhouse.donorpages.com/BuildGiGisIndy/MasonWilson
In this past year I have come to understand the saying that “it takes a village” to raise a child. We have the BEST village anyone could ask for!
Our family has come around us in an amazing way. Even after telling them of Mason’s diagnosis, their love never skipped a beat. My mom comes to every one of Mason’s therapy appointments. My dad, my sisters, and both of my grandma’s have come as well. Our families have helped out with babysitting so Tim and I can have a break. Tim’s sister Lindsay took Mason for a day and taught him to take a bottle. My mom and dad recently took him overnight for the first time so Tim and I could celebrate our anniversary and sleep in. These are just a few of the ways that our families have helped us out.
Our friends have also been amazing and have loved on Mason in so many ways. Our friendships have deepened and we’ve even formed new friendships. We’ve gotten to know people who have experienced hardships as well. Though they aren’t the same hardships, there is mutual understanding that life can be painful, and quite frankly sucks sometimes. There is a certain instant bond when you meet someone who has gone through something unexpected. I am thankful for these very real friendships where we can be vulnerable and share some of our deepest fears and worries.
I’ve also had the privilege to connect with some amazing women who have children with Down syndrome. These women fight hard for their kids and are changing the world and it’s perspective of Down syndrome. These women inspire me to be a better mother. They understand my hardships with Mason and celebrate each milestone he reaches. I’m so thankful for each and every one of them!
Another incredibly special person that we’ve gotten to know in Mason’s first year of life is Mason’s running buddy Les. There is an awesome program called “I Run For Michael” where runners are matched with people wish disabilities. These runners dedicate their runs to the person with disabilities. I signed Mason up back in April and he was paired with Les. What a special match this is. Through something I thought would be fun for Mason, God has already used in great ways. In May, Tim, Mason, and I drove to Cincinnati to watch Les run one of his races during the Flying Pig 10K & 5K. We were able to meet him and his beautiful wife. Hopefully in September we will be able to watch Les run again and meet his beautiful children along with his soldiers that will be running with him. I’m so honored to have a man who serves our Lord and our country to be running for Mason. Les is one of the most hardworking people I know and I’m constantly encouraged by his dedication to God, his family, and Mason. I can’t wait to see their relationship continue to grow over the years.
If you are a runner that would like to be matched with a person with a disability or know someone with a disability that would like to participate in this program, more information can be found here: http://www.whoirun4.com/
I know this blog post is long, but lastly, I want to share how much Mason has grown in this past year. As I look back through his pictures this first year, I miss that sweet cuddly little baby. But, I’m so incredibly proud of the little boy that he has become. He is the happiest, silliest, more stubborn boy I know. His smile and laugh make my heart feel like it’s going to explode. I love seeing him grow and watch his personality develop. I’m so blessed to be his Mom. He makes me a better person, wife, mother, and friend. The latest thing he’s learned is “peek a boo”. Apparently, he thinks you can’t see him when he covers his ears. I love my goofy boy!