Often times you hear that people with DS are always happy. That is a false stereotype because I know for a fact that Lydia has every emotion possible. She often, however, has a smile on her face. A lot in part because she feeds off the attention from others. Especially strangers. There are many times that she will be crabby with me and see someone else and will be happy as pie. That is who she is. However, she does get mad and sad and angry and frightened and excited and happy and fearful and shy and very outgoing.
But one thing that she is almost all of the time is joyful. Please don't mistake joyful for happy. Joy means that you have a presence about you that is different than others often times. Joy means that you usually make the best out of every situation. Joy means that you often times can look on the positive side of things. Joy is having a happy heart; not being happy all of the time.
She has a disposition about herself that I long for most of the time. She often times is distracted by a situation that is making her upset. Usually she longs to make other people happy, even in an unpleasant situation that she is in, because she is that confident in who she is. She has a joy that radiates from her body to others and it can't help but make you smile.
I think back to the times in the hospital that she was getting ready to get a procedure done. As they are trying to set a line she is pulling off the turn-a-kit and smiling and laughing. She laughs even harder when the tech says something to her. She is happy because there is a better environment. She often times senses that the techs don't like drawing her blood and she will hug them as if she is saying that it is alright.
When she sings in church she does so with her entire being. She is fully living in that moment and nothing, NOTHING is distracting her. She has a joy that cannot be duplicated. She rubs that joy off onto everyone around her. She gets lost in the moment and no one around her seems to matter, no one around her impacts her on how she should act. She is completely drawn into that moment and often times she is making everyone else around her laugh and enjoy that moment with her.
She is attracted to the spirit of other people. She wants to be around them and she wants to see them smile. I can only think this is because she is so happy and confident with who she is, everyone should be like that.
So you can only imagine what it is like to live with someone like that. She does make it hard sometimes to have a hard day, to feel sorry for yourself, or to not have joy that radiates from your heart; no matter what the situation is. Her souls sings and it is starting to catch on with me. I am so grateful for this gift. I am blessed that God has sent her as my daughter. She teaches me lessons each and every day. We are all so much better because she is in our lives. There are very few people I know of that have learned the lessons she has and are able to teach them. She does all of this just by seeing the world through a different lens, by being who she was created to be. I am joyful because she is my daughter!