Karen from Lion and Magic Boy also writes for the super cool parenting site Strollerderby. I love that her posts are a full picture of her life as a woman and mother to all her children, including her son Eric, who has Down syndrome.
And in this post, she writes beautifully about the unexpected joys of the Down syndrome community. And she mentions several wonderful blogs (including Pinwheels, thank you!).
I feel the same way as she describes in the post. When people ask me about what it’s like being Avery’s mama, most often words are elusive, but a collage of images plays through my mind instead. I think of Avery’s sweet half-smile, which he reserves for any time he’s done something naughty. I think of his skinny arms, how strong they are when he wraps them around my neck in a hug. I think of his hair, the way it grows so fast and how he’s always in need of a haircut. Which is a good thing, since he’s the only child of mine with the patience for so many haircuts.
I think too of the people he’s brought into our lives–Wendy and Molly and Brittney, and the women I’ve met (and met online) whom I would never have known, save for the fact we all have a child with Down syndrome. I think of the opportunities parenting Avery has presented us with: the chance for me to know the full depth of my husband Tom, and his committment to our family; the same, for our parents, and siblings, and friends. The chance for me to know beauty in the world, in ways I never imagined or expected. The chance, in middle-age, to find myself again surprised by life, in a bewildering, amazing, open-hearted way.
I think of all these things, and I cannot put them into words, most days. But always, when I think of parenting Avery, I think of the others he’s brought to us, too.
If you’re reading this, you’re part of the circle, and I thank you.