It’s Williams Syndrome Awareness Month, so yesterday we met up with a bunch of other families for a beautiful walk to raise money and awareness.
We were at the same walk last year, which made me realize how much Emmy has grown. Last year, she was a baby, so we pushed her along in a stroller while she snoozed. I remember looking around at the other children who had Williams syndrome and just taking it all in–trying to figure out what my little girl would be like. I had read all the literature, but I still didn’t know what to expect. I still didn’t fully understand what the diagnosis meant for Emmy and for our family.
My experience has been that I can read all I want but, until I’ve lived it, I don’t truly comprehend it.
This year, Emmy wasn’t snoozing. She was dancing and laughing and eating burgers and tackling her sister and giving hugs and trying to make friends. She’s just so much fun to be around.
By all accounts, Williams syndrome is a completely random genetic occurrence. It could happen to anyone. I think the word “genetic” can be misleading because it sounds like we had Williams syndrome in the family prior to having Emmy. On the contrary, I’d never even heard of Williams syndrome! It was a total shock to everyone.
But spending time with Emmy over the past 1.5 years has made me wonder…
Was this really random?
I can’t help but think that this was meant to be…
She has taught me so much about myself and others. I’ve learned that I’m much stronger and more capable than I ever thought. I’ve learned that other people, whose brains are wired differently than mine, see the world in a special way. And, best of all, I’ve learned much more about what these words mean: love, acceptance, and authenticity.
And one more thing…
Before Dan and I had kids, we talked about what we wanted for their future. Because we’ve both been painfully shy in the past and had to work hard to push through that, we had only 1 wish: That our kids would have social personalities.
When we found out that Emmy had Williams syndrome, we immediately looked it up online. And here’s what we saw:
People with Williams syndrome have “highly social personalities.”
Gives me chills every time I think about it.
Yes, it was meant to be.