And if you’ve got a person with Down syndrome in your family, you know that it’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month. This is a terrific post about what it feels like for us, and there are more links in the comments to other families and their stories. That’s what I love about this month: it reminds us we’re not alone.
This is from ten years ago, at our first Buddy Walk. Where did the time go?
I love this post by Lisa Leonard, especially this:
There is beauty in the dark places–where we least expect to find it. I have found on the hardest days, beauty shows up in real and miraculous ways”
For me, I think the question I ask is, “Are you okay?” Both are good! As explained in this excellent essay by Tricia Theis. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.
Here’s a terrific podcast from writer Amy Silverman about her daughter Sophie. So much good stuff in it!
Here’s the story of Ruby, as told by Kelle Hampton. I can’t show it to Avery, or he will want to pack up and leave tomorrow! And though we still have a ways to go before it’s his time for this experience, it gives me such hope to know there are options like this one waiting for him, when he’s ready.
Here’s a link to a CBS story that raises so many important questions about prenatal testing and what it means to babies with Down syndrome…plus, there’s a really cute photo of a beautiful girl named Agusta.
I love this blog post by Laurie Wagner. It is exactly my life right now, only Carter is leaving next week, we’re driving with him, and my life is held together not with twine, but duct tape. But, really, same-same!
This story of love and acceptance is so amazing! I didn’t even know I could imagine something so kind, but now that I do, I think it’s perfect.
About a week ago, I fell off my horse. Or, my horse got out from under me. Or, I really don’t know what it was, it all happened so fast. She’s a young horse and really quick and she was as scared as I was, after it happened.
I have a sprained wrist and a bruised tailbone and a little bit of a black eye.
The old saying tells you that once you fall off a horse, you have to get back up. Right back up. In the moments after I fell, I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t move. All I could do was check in with each of the parts of my body, arms, are you okay? Legs? Fingers? Toes? And then I had to get the horse settled. And then Tom said, “Are you going to get back on?”
I thought about it, and then I said, “No.”
I didn’t get right back in the saddle. I made a choice, I said no. I didn’t think it was wise to get back in the saddle, right away. She was scared, I was hurt, and it just wasn’t worth it to me to risk me, or her, having another bad experience.
I think the lesson learned that day was not for the horse, but for me: sometimes, the old sayings are wrong. I get to do what I decide is best, and sometimes you need to take a while to heal.
Well those seeds I planted not so long ago, without much hope or expectation, have grown, and grown, and grown. Now, there is kale to pick and spinach and chard. Also chives (lots of chives!) and parsley, too. And peas! I almost cried when I saw all the peas, it felt like such a gift! It all feels like such a gift.
Two things to remember: even when you’re not sure, plant the seeds; and life is full of surprises.
The only problem with this story is that if it were Avery and me running the shop, we would eat all the cupcakes. The end.
Lots of people I know enjoy IZZE drinks, because they are delicious. But did you know that the drink is named after Isabel Woloson, daughter of one of the cofounders of the company? And what’s more, Isabel has Down syndrome.
It’s a great story. You can read more here, and here.
(Thanks to Elizabeth for the info!)
We’re supposed to get a big rain soon, so I thought I’d try to get some seeds in the garden ahead of it. I planted squash and pumpkins and chard, things I think the rabbits won’t eat. And while I was digging in the lovely warm dirt, worrying that maybe the seeds were too old and that nothing would sprout, a thought occurred to me, one of gardening and a gardener’s hope: The only seeds you know for certain won’t grow are the ones you don’t plant.
I’ve been having this feeling again that I want to write a book about our life, since so many things have happened that I think would be helpful to other parents to know. I have so many stories! As I’m sure you all have, too.
So here’s a question: what do you want most to know about? What do you wish I’d share?
I know when I was a new mom to Avery the thing I wanted most to know was if we’d be okay. And that’s easy to answer, now–we are okay. We are even better than okay. As Tom used to tell me a lot in the beginning, “Life is hard, but good.”
And I don’t really have anything I really wish I could know, now. I know the future with Avery will be surprising, sometimes I’ll worry, sometimes I will laugh for reasons I never could have imagined, I am guaranteed to meet more fantastic people (Avery is a magnet for awesome people), so I don’t really know where this is all going. Maybe I’ll write the book to find out!
A poem is a puzzle
A poem is a pretzel
A poem is a pinwheel
A poem is a present