December 7, 2012

Before....and after

I have written in the past about Alex's aversion to make-up, bras and other feminine things. I have a number of theories about this but always try to respect Alex's choices (as much as a mother can) and waited.

In the past year my girl "suggestions" have been ignored as Alex watched one of her good friends from middle school undergo the transition from female to male. This was very confusing for Alex, and our conversations about this superceded any conversations about being a girl.

Alex has a developmental delay and this includes everything in her life. When her sister wanted to wear a bra in 8th grade, Alex did not. When Courtney wanted to experiment with make-up at 12, Alex did not, and when Courtney asked for hair highlights in 9th grade, Alex wanted her hair to be pink and orange (like the kids on the Disney channel).

I have been called to task for imposing my girlishness on Alex, and that is okay. I believe in choice, but with Alex I also believe in patience. Alex will make her own decisions in good time, she is still discovering who she wants to become. But, as with all things Alex,  this will happen in her own good time.

Alex often has huge maturity jumps in her life when something big is going on, and heading to Lake Placid without her parents is one of these life growing experiences. I cherish these spurts and do my best to honor them as I can.

So, recently when she shared she was sick of her "mousy brown" hair and wanted it to be light brown before she meets her team in Lake Placid, I was all over it.

Alex is head over heals in love with her new hair and even better Nicole has a sister in law with down syndrome and it was love at first sight!


  1. Thanks for sharing this! I am - slooowly - learning that not EVERYTHING related to Ciena is because she has down syndrome. Some if it, although I have no idea how much of it, has to do with her personality.

    For instance, Alex does not have desires to be girly. Ciena, on the other hand, only wants to be in pretty dresses with pretty hair every day!

    So it would seem that this is a personality thing. And then it would seem that God knew what he was doing by putting Ciena and I in each other's lives - as I love all things girly.

    Thus, one would think we would have an easy time connecting and being a family. But I guess the getting up in the middle of the night, hiding food in her room and peeing in a pull-up every night at age 11 puts a damper on my vision of how she "should" be behaving.

  2. Hi Jess, when I was a little tom-boy girl I wanted to be a hippie when I grew-up, so I say the apple does not fall too far from the tree - even in newer relationships. Do you think Ciena is having issues because she is transitioning to a new mom? Sometimes our kids do not communicate with word but behaviors... just putting it out there :)

  3. the new hair is too cute! I didn't get my hair cut more than twice a year or color it until I was 35 and started to get greys! I still don't wear make up unless I'm getting dressed up even though my mother still bugs me about it. Alex is a girl after my own heart!


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