If Only I Had Known

Since finding out about Landon's genetic deletion, I have often gone back through his baby pictures and cried. "If only I had known," I've thought. "Maybe things would be different. Maybe I could have helped him." I have felt that I've failed him, and in a sense, I've felt that I lost the baby I thought was perfect and perfectly normal.

If I had known about his syndrome, I could have had him in therapy from a few months old. We would have seen all those specialists we're just now seeing way back in those early days and taken care of any issues then. It would have explained all his breastfeeding problems and why it took him longer to walk. And holy cow, the speech issues! 

But there are two sides to every coin, and Landon's story is no exception. If I had known he had all those palate/low tone issues, perhaps Landon and I wouldn't have fought so hard for him to breastfeed. But we did, and after several weeks, that fighter of a baby got it. Hospital stays and visits to specialists would have taken away his time with me, probably stressed both of us out, and perhaps even delayed his development. And I never even expected him to develop differently. Truth is, other than his speech, he developed pretty normally. [By the way, I've gotten the whole "Is Colton any different than Landon was?" question a lot. Colton is actually less vocal and a whole lot more feisty. Goes to show you that there are hyperactive children without a syndrome. Shocker. ;)] If I'd known there was something wrong, I probably would have expected less from Landon. But I didn't. And guess what? He has thrived - even without therapy! And although I don't know every one of God's reasons, I do think a big reason He kept us from knowing about Landon's syndrome for so long was so that we had that time to bond and fall in love with a joy-filled, giggly, crazy, hilarious, darlin' little boy who has rocked our world in the best way possible.

And then there's me. God knew where He needed to take me, how he needed to grow me, stretch me, and push me before He sent this testing of my faith. This does not mean I've arrived. Oh boy, does it NOT.

You see how a little perspective changes everything?

I had over two years with Landon before I even realized something was wrong. And now that I know about his diagnosis, I don't love him any less or see him differently. In fact, I love him more. To me, he's just a crazy 3-year-old with an incredible amount of energy and a sweetness that melts my heart every day. [This does not mean he is sweet all day every day, and I most definitely do not walk around melting all day every day. Trust me on this one.] I rejoice in every milestone, whether that's saying "hippo" correctly (don't ask), knowing his alphabet and colors (I'm excited about those, not gonna lie), or learning how to put his shoes on (patiently, without attitude... ahem). Landon has a different timetable than what is considered "normal," and that's okay. It's his timetable. His daddy and I will cheer him on every step of the way.

See, the truth is, if I could go back in time and change things, I wouldn't. God, in His goodness, gave me a gift, let me enjoy it, appreciate it, learn from it - and then He did something really great. He made that gift even more precious to me. If only I had known from the beginning, perhaps I wouldn't treasure Landon the way that I do.

Most of the days after I had Landon are a sleepless blur, but there is a moment that keeps coming back to me. I can't help but wonder if it's God's sweet reminder that Landon is the same person he was three years ago. After I had Landon, I called my mom to tell her the happy news. She was so excited. "What's he like?" she asked. I looked at his tiny button nose, sweet little lips, and dark head of hair (oh, that hair!). "Perfect," I said. "Absolutely perfect."

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