To Cry or Not To Cry

As the impending doom of my first baby’s bus ride inevitably nears, I ask myself when not if….I know I’m going to cry.  Shoot, I’m crying right now through typing tears.  I cry at inspirational speeches and pretty much any musical montage. I have surrendered myself to waterproof eye liner and the fact that it will just be so.
The question lies within the beautiful little kindergartener to be. His soul is old and delicate. He walks the world sensitive like his momma (well both of his parents actually) and I plainly see that bright big heart on his sleeve. When he turned 4 he came to lie in bed with us. I tortured myself by playing Taylor Swift’s “Never Grow Up” and nuzzled his neck through my sobs. I certainly wasn’t expecting him to match my tears and declare that he now didn’t want to grow up either. Oopsie, parent fail. I spent the next half hour repairing that damage and thankfully the crisis was diverted when he remembered PRESENTS.

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Here’s the thing. I’m pretty sure I haven’t screwed him up too bad yet ; besides that minor fawpaw. I encourage creative play and try my best to ignore messes.( A real tough one for my type A-ness.) I give him freedom and space and snuggles. I say I’m sorry when I screw up and speak in plain language about things that are serious.  I love him fiercely and I only cried on the inside when I dropped him off at his grandparents the other day as he proudly announced “don’t get unbuckled, I can go in by myself.”

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So, to cry in front of his cherubic little face or to save the ugly sobs for when he’s safely in his seat?

One part of me says let my freak flag fly. Be me. Us sensitive souls must stand in solidarity. He should know that crying is allowed, not shameful and an expected response to such a momentous occasion. He should also know that the fierce love I feel for him won’t flee just because his little birdie wings are flying from the nest. He has spent a lot of times simmering on the back burner in this short little life of his. He should know that on this day, thoughts of him are swirling around all the lobes of my cerebellum and thoughts of his baby days swell deep within my soul…..

BUT, will my streams of sadness wreak havok on his tender psyche? One cannot know for sure? I am torn between “my mom was a tough old bird” or “all she ever did was cry.” I want me to be me because I want him to be him …but I don’t want him to associate school with devastation either. Being a mom is hard. Being a sappy one is harder. Watching them grow is the hardest.  I am not sure how it wall all go down but I am sure of my dad’s advice on moderation.

So, I’m going to(most importantly) simply show up, and  try for just a trickle.

Wish me luck.

 

 

 

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Love my Life Down-Town – A Rebuttal

I avoided writing about this topic because…I don’t know why? I’m too mad? I’m a hypocrite? I have nothing new to say? The community is flooded with responses to eliminating Down syndrome? The truth is. It’s all of these. But here I sit, ignoring the show I’m watching, wine on the floor rather than in my hand, because I just cannot let myself be so passive to such a crossroads. I cannot  not keep my head down in this traffic. You will instead find me in hard hat, putting up stop signs.

I’m. Mad. I’m mad because eliminating Down syndrome in essence means doing away with my son. What if in an instance we could poof away all the people in this world with a disability? What if there was a vote? How many would agree to do it? You know what? I have no idea what that number would be, but I know it would be some. I know people would “poof” my son away the first chance they could. It’s a horrid feeling to know that. It baffles me and also,  it really freaking pokes the mama bear inside of  me.

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I’m a hypocrite. I didn’t have the test. I do have an intuition of sorts. It’s eerie but I can’t deny it. I knew I was going to have a baby with Down syndrome day 1! I just had a feeling. I waivered when it came to test time because I knew….so, I procrastinated and asked countless people their opinions. I purposely surrounded myself with conviction that I was fine, Judah was fine, Down syndrome didn’t matter. All these things helped me evade making a decision so I would never actually see it on paper….I can’t be sure what would have happened ? Thankfully I’ll never know .  All I know is there were options in my mind,so I get it . I am a bit leery about the fight…because if you don’t know what I now know, how can I make you know? How do you make someone feel something they don’t know yet?

I have flooded my social media feeds with the adorabalities  of my dear Judah. I made up the word adorabality and he deserves it dedicated to him . He is something special all right…and he is work beyond all work; but it is glorious in all it’s returns.  You know this . We don’t need some steeering articles spewing incredulous facts to tell us numbers because  If you love me or if you love Judah….then you know what Down syndrome is all about . I can’t tell the world anything new. Down syndrome is not a burden. Down syndrome is the most incredible gift. It fixed me!!!! I say those phrases so often you may find them on my tombstone. They are the truest words I have ever spoken ; but that’s it. I cannot come at all these eliminating articles with anything new. There are no words that I can say to fix this travesty that I have not said before. I do wonder though? If so many people with Down syndrome are saying “Down syndrome is great!” And so many parents are declaring their love for this heart warming disability then why in God’s name is nobody listening? Are we viewed as liars? Sugar coaters? Does the world think we are trying to trick them into having a baby with Down syndrome? How is no one getting the awesomeness of these people with something extra? All you have to do is talk to a person with Down syndrome  or someone who loves them and you’ll get it. I want to scream it from rooftops with a microphone, into a megaphone ” YOU ARE MISSING OUT… DON’T DO THIS TO YOURSELF” but by now if you know our family and are reading  this then you already know.

 

And if you don’t? If you’re a worried momma or a politician trying to do away with all the “extra expenses Down syndrome puts on our economy” well then I’m sure you won’t find yourself reading about my firm planted stance. I’m sure you will scroll right by. Maybe because your frightened?

Quick side story here: when I had convinced myself I was having a baby with Down syndrome, I shared the news with a close friend. She urged me to read Kelle Hampton’s “Nella: A Birth Story” I wouldn’t do it. Even though my friend promised me it was beautiful (and it is) thought it might help (and it would have ) I just could not bring myself to do it. After, Judah was born with Trisomy 21, I took to google, of course. Her story was the first thing I read in my hospital bed. Then, I immediately repeated reading it with my husband. We sobbed the most reassuring sobs. I read it again. Then I read her book as soon as I was home. And I have and will continue to read that story on the eve of Judah’s birth from now on.

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I also felt the same way about the anecdote ” Welcome To Holland.” I despised that story. I didn’t want to go to stupid Holland..

…..And I get it if you’re frightened, or you are afraid you might will it true by educating yourself. I know It sounds crazy… but I understand it because  it was me.

I love Holland now.  I love the pain I felt. I loved the extreme uncomfortable shift my life took. I love Down syndrome. I love all of this different and beautiful path. And so maybe we are frightened or uncomfortable or we just don’t know. And maybe I won’t change one person’s mind. But I have to write about it anyway. The pull is like a magnet’s North  to a South. I owe a homage to the little boy who changed me. I owe it to the world to share my one-time skeptical, side of  the story and I owe it to myself so that I can pick up my wine,watch a show, and know I’ve said my piece.

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On my 43rd Birthday…

On my 43rd birthday I am still figuring out who the fuck I am. How is that possible? The answer is a short one. I had to undo all the people I thought I was supposed to be first.

I was supposed to be pretty, skinny, and fit  in. I was supposed to go to college, party, stop partying, get a job, get a boyfriend, get married, get a house. I was not supposed to curse, be late to bloom, be outspoken, be forth coming, be selfish, leave my comfort zone, take a risk, be unlady like (whatever the fuck that is) or in essence, be me. I was supposed to be me…. reeled in. Me, but not too much me. Just a little me.

Society told me how to be. I idolized those that were loved by the masses.  Their public life molded me into what I should be. I don’t blame my parents , teachers and role models. They did not tell me how to be…but they also did not stress the importance of being me. No one did. In fact everyone  seemed obliviously satisfied with all the people I was trying on for size.

Somewhere along the way, because of age and wisdom and Judah I started to see the world differently.  Pretty and popularity  were not standards to be judged by ; rather kindness was. Love was. Bravery was. Real shit was. I started to realize that I had been doing it all wrong. All I had ever craved was admiration and people being proud of me. The only time I had ever earned it was when I cut the crap and became real.

…Authentic, exposed, insecure, sensitive, loyal, fun, impatient, kind, selfish, selfless and brave me. When I turned into that girl I became loved. First off,  because I now loved who I was. Secondly,  because I was seen for who I was….not who I was pretending to be. I pretended for so damn long that I’m just getting to know myself again. So, obviously, I don’t have all the answers….But this is what I would tell  the young people playing dress up with different personalities:

1. Karma is real. Be nice.

2. Whether someone likes you or not, actually has very little to do with you ….brush your shoulders off and straighten your fucking crown.

3. You can’t do all the things and do them all well AND be happy. Give yourself a break.

4. You really are your own worst critic. No one else is really paying that much attention anyway.

5. People will come and go in your life. You are allowed to be sad about that. You should explicitly share your feelings with loved ones ….but do not dwell. It’s not good for your soul.

6. Be a rebel. But don’t do it because it’s cool to be rebellious. Do it because you aren’t a piece that fits neatly into society’s puzzle.

7. Be charitable. But don’t do it because it’s cool to have a cause. Do it because it stirs your soul to serve others and see them smile. If it doesn’t stir your soul, check in as to why.

8.  Speak up. Even when you think you’re alone. You aren’t. There isn’t a feeling in this world that no one has never had before.

9. Hold out. Hold out for love, your dreams, and whatever the thing is that has always moved you. Settling is not for dreamers and we all have dreams.

9b. It is never too late. You are the author of your own story. Don’t let tales of others dictate the way yours will play out.

10. Be considerate. Don’t forget your family. Love them fiercely. Let all the little shit go. Regret is a heavy burden to bear.

11. Guilt and worry have no place in your life (this one I’m still working on.) One has to do with your past, one with your future. Neither of which you have control of.

12. Surround yourself with your heroes, your mentors, and people you are proud of. All the others are just helping you hide. Hiding is easy. Being real is hard.

13. Show up. I know you won’t always want to, feel like it, or look your best,… do it anyway. The shame of letting yourself down is not worth the price .

14. God is always there. Sometimes you may think the light has abandoned you or was never really there at all. That is not true. The light is always there. Look for it. It will eclipse your darkness.

15. Love your life. It will be hard and shitty. It will exhaust you and bewilder you. It will surprise you and hurt you. Love it anyway. Complain about circumstance if you must, but love your life. The messy way it is. It is irreplaceable and valuable and there is good in it. Find gratitude in that. It will serve you for further blessings.

16. Listen. Really listen. Not so that you can compare stories. You already know what you know. Listen so that you can learn, be a good friend and so that other people’s story has power through being spoken.

17. You will get hurt, hurt people and do stupid shit. Don’t let it define you. You are so much more than your mistakes.

18. If you want to change, really, really, change…unchain yourself from what you have always done.  Do what you must to rid yourself of the habits that inhibit you. Only then, can the electricity begin to be rewired.

19. Sometimes, it’s a: stay in your pj’s, eat chips,  don’t wash your hair, or call anyone… kind of day. Take a day. But follow it with a: false eyelash, favorite outfit,feed your people,.. kind of day…. You need both.

20. Nature can fix you. It won’t solve your problems or change the world .  However, a good walk, surrounded by God’s very first creations,  will humble and move you. If issues should arise : take to a forest or a lake, not to the bottle.

21. Work hard play hard. It has always been my mantra. It is my dad’s. It will be my sons’. It is everything.

22. Don’t panic about getting it done. You always have. You will not fail. Even if you do, the world will still spin just the way it always has. Take that worry right off the table. Strategize instead. Make better use of all of that mental energy.

23. Life will surprise you and send you curve balls. Don’t be so set in you plans that you are unwilling to adapt. You will miss out on some amazing beauty that way.
24. You won’t be saved from the advice I’ve laid before you. If you were young me, you would have barely been paying attention. …What will ultimately change you is grit and pain and hurt. It will take your anger, sadness and disappointment to change . It will take your fear. You must add in all of those uncomfortable growing pains. THAT is what will make you real. Feel the feelings. Know they have a purpose. Turn them into something worthwhile. Be the sweetest, coldest, and best tasting lemonade… you’ve gotta do something with all those lemons anyway…
25. Happy  birthday to me. The real one. Thank you for finally showing up. This second act is going to be fucking fabulous!!!!

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Post inspired by: “Love Warrior” by Glennon Melton Doyle, “The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale, “The Story Of Diana,”…..and another year in the books.

 

Do not fret …Down syndrome is Worthy 

When they offer you that early test, lets all admit it…that’s what it’s for. Down syndrome . Deemed the worst road.. As a special needs mom there are so many roads I have seen now. Not worse, not better ; just different.  But when we are all offered that test… that’s the thing . The one they Detect. The one you can avoid. I can’t even imagine how many people have avoided…, statistics record 90% ? I place zero blame on that. .Had I have known I may have been in the majority. I cannot be sure of what I would’ve done. All I know is what I know now. You adapt. You do it quick. You fight. You advocate. You somehow find strength within yourself and you become strong and then……

You fall in GOD GIVEN love. You cant even help yourself ! Because all of the sudden you have gained a community , a fellowship, a fraternity.  And that is all minuscule compared to the diabolical endearments that greet you every morning with the best hug you’ve ever had.

You do all these things to make your kid great  because you know he is and you know he can be and because everyday you cannot believe how he is proving your old you wrong .

And then there he is. He has his little personality that warms souls and grows yours and you think… why did I ever believe this old belief to be so ?

I can say it because I was there. I uttered incomprehensible phrases of not wanting him to be my own.

And now…. I could not imagine a day without the way he makes my soul bigger, my heart brighter and my life fuller. He is a volcano of joy that erupts with each face he sees. Who does not want that in their life?

So Maybe the fear is because he is a rare gem? but maybe he is him and we just made him rare. He is me. He is you. He is the best part of all of us. He is worthy. And most importantly, he is a blessing. Momma’s honor!

 That Summer High 

Those last days. The ones before you relax , heave a big sigh…then say, “now what (or who) to fix these next six weeks.” It’s a precarious time for a teacher; you yourself are wrapping up and sealing all you know about a little mind into a report card, a folder and a collection of memories. You are passing all these things along  to families, specialists and new teachers and you hope to God you’re doing it justice. 

If you are clinically insane,like myself,  you also are on the good-getting recieving end. You are at countless concerts and ceremonies.  You are bombarded with trinkets of your babies bearing their possible occupation or current favorite food. The hope is that you tuck it all away and compare and contrast for years to come. It’s hectic. I am fruitlessly trying to keep all those balls in a 360 degree formation without disturbing the system. 

There’s gifts for teachers and bow ties for concerts and slide shows for graduates and oh shit, you should probably try to  make yourself look decent too. 

These aren’t on the must-do list. Your stuff won’t be repo’d if you fail or anything….but when you are a hoarder of mementos like myself …it is on the “if I don’t do this I’ll die” list. 

And so it’s not work but it’s nuts and I love the rewards, be them big or small. Here some favorite end of year particulars that have me on a summer high: 

1. Those first day to last day school pictures. This one is never going away for me. The way they grow and come together and fall apart is endearing in all it’s meaning or not. Judah wasn’t even able to steady his Sandlefeet in the fall and somehow Calvin’s baby locks turned into kid hair? There are no missing teeth or facial hair yet but there’s a year’s growth in their eye twinkle and the way they carry themselves. If only to the  trained eye of a mommy or daddy


2. Teacher Gifts. This year Calvin chose a Venus flytrap for his darling of a teacher. As a teacher myself I half chuckled/ half cringed and obliged because it is “soo him” I dreaded the hustle to grab appropriate souvenirs thanking teachers for morphing my children into structured, well mannered, little learners. It seemed nothing would quite do and I’m pretty sure nothing could….But hugging all those first molders in my children’s lives invoked tears of  gratitude . I’m sure they felt all my warm fuzzy neurons buzzing as I squeezed them one last time. 

3. It is not all quite hearts and rainbows at the school where I teach…in the sense that there are not thoughtful gifts or tearful hugs there. It makes me sad sometimes but those brick walls hold other rewards, in the safe haven that you are for little lost ones and a knowing camaraderie with the ones you work with.  So when I rolled up on the last day I had no expectations. In fact, I knew it would be the opposite from the tearful goodbye I had just left. So as I pulled in the parking lot it became everything to see a handful of teachers with camping chairs perched in the parking lot, smiling in the sun and soaking in every last second until we would meet the ones we tried to save for the very last time. We had made it. We survived the trenches and no lives had been lost. Sure some of us has embedded schrapnel but we mostly came through unscathed and we were once again smiling! There were no hot dogs or cold brews at the early morning makeshift tailgate but there was something better. There was triumph. We won the year together, we won the war and we may have even changed some lives in the process. 

4. I’ve worked every single summer since I’ve been 15.  I’ve flipped burgers and scooped ice cream. I’ve poured beers and taught about Egypt . I’ve taken countless orders at the fair while dodging bees and I’ve even sorted car parts in a hot service garage. I’ve nanny’d  waitressed, educated, bartended, counseled, and made sure I completed your order. What I haven’t done is ME! So the thing that sailed my ship right into shore was the opportunity to keep my womb to myself, become the best version of me and do all the things that I’ve wanted to do. The dancing sugarplum dreams that swirled around my newly married brain 6 years ago….Before I was pregnant 4 times , before I dealt with a diagnosis, before I was laid off and frantically searching a job, before a home was just a first-star wish, before family stormed my bed at 6:30am, before all my dreams came true. They’re here. It’s all in front of me now. Now I get to do all the things I wanted to do with this crazy life and now I have the time to do it.  Here’s the thing though….when you are living a dream you’ve dreamt for so long…where to start is a conundrum. I am spinning with home improvements, warm summer days and lingering late nights. My life has just begun damn it. There is not enough summer. My bucket list is created and I’m headed to my first vacation as I write this very sentence. I am in it. This will be my best summer ever. The buzz shows no sign of wearing off anytime soon.

There is something about the end of something that births a new beginning. It’s a chance for a redo or to do it better and adrenaline hits the gas pedal on caffeine. It’s intoxicating.  It is the best high of all, the one I’ve had since I’ve been a kid. It’s that good old fashioned summer high. 

 How I Miss…But Oh How I Love

I miss how you used to grasp my finger instinctively like little newborns do. But now I love the way that you and I hold hands.

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I miss  serving you spoonfuls of mushy bananas off a tiny silver spoon. But now I love how the conversation rolls with you, my very  favorite lunch date.

 

I miss how you used to clutch to me as I’d spin you around the swirls of the pool. But I watch you kick your ungraceful legs  through the too chilly water and it fills my own pool up with pride.

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And I miss the wiggle of your rolly thighs as I would attempt pajama time.. but the way you pick your own too small, out of season pajamas now ? Well that steals my heart every time.

I miss the way you used to sing “rain rain go away” as you stared up at me with your giant baby blues….But now you make up your own songs about our family, your brothers and yes, even sometimes poop. I serve  you side eye and inwardly giggle as I proudly celebrate your creativity.

I miss your scribbles on page after page carelessly flung free. Yet now I am enamored at how you meticulously brighten every corner of a picture making sure not to miss an inch.

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I miss your baby smell, our sacred naps; you needing me.

I love how you collect boxes, fondly tend to your brothers; your independence.

And I love how you still line things up, refuse to throw things away or take off your shoes. I love how you still mimic  your daddy, worry like your mommy and how you sleep with us when you are scared.

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I love how you’ve changed so very much and yet remained so much the same. And while your baby years were so dear to me, I wouldn’t wish them back you know?  For if I did I’d miss even more, the beautiful little boy that you’ve become today.

Happy birthday my darling. You are so very loved.

Hit By The Bus

Almost a year ago to the date my husband and I attended the Gigi’s Playhouse Gala.  We were privileged enough to listen to Gigi’s mom, Nancy Gianni, speak.  It was absolute inspiration, of course. It was also a check in with reality, as we  recognized  how much work there is to still do. Nancy equated her journey with her daughter to a bus ride.  She explained how some experiences are like driving the bus, some are like riding the bus and sadly, some are like being hit by that bus. I wrote about that Gala, (you can read it here.) I spoke of the driving and the riding on the bus, however,  at the time, I had very little to contribute in regards to the inevitable bus collision.  Since that naive night I’ve had some near misses…. There was the time that one doctor asked me if I had the test, or the time when the five year old girl called Judah ugly to her friend  (I can still feel the stinger on that one,) or there is even every time someone is careless with their language.  We’ve come away with some scrapes and some bruises but mostly we have escaped unscathed.

Today , I didn’t even have a chance to look both ways before I was hit head on, by a big, fat, heart-wrenching bus.

We switched dentists because we had to. So,  months ago I set us all up for appointments. Calvin’s and Judah’s were set for today. My husband was supposed to assist in playing zone but as luck would have it he had to work. So, I set off solo with a positive attitude and tales of amazing dentistry to keep Calvin’s anxiety at bay. Not necessarily good or bad…but I never told this office that Judah had Down syndrome. This was thee very first time I had ever done that. Bobby and I talked about it after. We didn’t try and purposely mislead anyone, it’s just not a part of who we are anymore. We used to be  all: ” we have a three year old and a baby with Down syndrome.” “Table for four please. Two adults, one toddler and one baby with Down syndrome” …But these days, we’re passed that. We’ve moved on to “yeah we have 3 boys under 5.” Down syndrome shows up now and then.  It’s  like when you catch a rainbow or see a deer in a field. We acknowledge it and take it all in and then we move on.  I was a bit apprehensive about not mentioning it, but truthfully, Judah is so well loved on in my circle it seemed unwarranted.

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After we were in the  waiting room for over 20 minutes (and if I may say so, my children were absolute angels,) they called us back to a colorful room full of toys and stickers and prizes and bubble gum paste. Gah, I loved that stuff. Calvin really wanted Judah to go first. Cal can be timid and Judah is fearless so to me it seemed to make perfect sense. I agreed with Calvin but we were shut down and instead I had to help the hygienist coax Calvin into the chair. He did great! He was so brave. I know he was scared and that it hurt a little. I was the only one who knew that. Judah did great too. He sat on my lap, not making a peep, watching his big brother like a hawk, making sure he was not being harmed. It was adorable….Then the dentist came in, exchanged some pleasantries and asked me to step in the hall so Calvin could get x-rays.  All went south when she met me in that hall. It started off uncomfortable, it did not feel right and so my awkward   advocating began. I proudly announced,  “this is Judah. This is his first time. He should be good but sometimes he is leery around strangers. He is usually a pretty happy guy though.” And right on cue Judah flashed his most winningest smile, waved and said hi which sounds more like “aaaaaa.” So, of course, I clarified, “he’s saying hi.” *Crickets* My rambling continued, “ I know these little guys with Down syndrome (there I said it) sometimes have trouble with their teeth and his are a bit crooked…..” she stopped me. She said “you know, I’m not a true pediatric dentist so I’m going to have to refer him.” I became panicky.  Didn’t I just come out of a dentist office that resembled Toys-r -us? Then she boldly continued, ” you know, a special need should be sedated for treatment because they move around too much and they can injure themselves.

I felt myself starting to think: OH NO!!! I could hardly believe it. This cannot be, I thought. Nooooo!!!! Did she just call my kid “a special need?”  I think it’s happening to us. I was spinning and hot and frightened.  Truthfully. I actually thought that I could be imagining it all and that I was overreacting.  So I prodded as I pointed  to Calvin “does he need to be sedated too?” The answer was no and my unease was confirmed. My stomach immediately dropped clear to the floor. I replied with my chest puffed, “well Calvin cannot stay here. They will both need to go somewhere else.  Calvin will not stand for going somewhere different than his brother. ” Then… ” did you still want us to look at Judah today?” I replied, “well not if you aren’t comfortable.” And that was it. She was gone. I think that was it. I was so shocked that at this point I was already texting my husband “oh my God I think we just got discriminated against.” The hygienist returned and praised Calvin. She also asked if I wanted her to look at Judah just for today. I told her that I was just trying to get him used to the dentist and I didn’t need any treatment at the moment. I also repeated that she didn’t need to look at him if it made her uncomfortable. She was clearly nervous and trying to defend her dentist.   She said things like,  “I don’t think it is what you think” and then she mentioned something about Judah needing more than nitrous oxide” I again hoped I was wrong and tried to helped her clarify. I asked,  “oh so if Calvin needs treatment he will need more than nitrous too?” Again she said no.  I finally and calmly said as I was somehow driving on that road up high, ” Do you understand that is discriminatory? You don’t even know my baby. He could sit perfectly still like he has the whole time here. You don’t know. Thank you for taking such good care of Calvin, really thank you, but we can’t come here anymore. You understand that this  is discriminatory. “  (I felt like I uttered discriminatory a thousand times but I think I am too blurred to be sure.)  She gave an apprehensive laugh and the dentist walked in asking if we needed a referral.   I kindly responded “no thank you” and hurried out of that building with my three babies as fast as my feet could carry us. I couldn’t believe it. I sat in the parking lot: red, shaking, muttering, texting,  and ultimately , not able to really comprehend that Nancy was right… we just got hit by the bus.

That’s what happened, here’s how I felt:

Physically ill, so, so angry, hurt, confused, brave, proud, sad, and most profoundly; astonished. Maybe I set myself up for this moment? After all I have always shielded us. I always keep us around positivity when it comes to my son’s disability. Maybe I disillusioned myself right into the middle of oncoming traffic. All day long I started to notice his delays more than I ever had before. I tried like hell not to cry but I cried; more than twice, more than three times. I cried because he’s such an awesome kid and he doesn’t deserve to be judged solely by his almond eyes. I cried because I feel defeated; because I thought we were winning. I cried because my sometimes unrealistic determination made me think that maybe our world had moved on from such ignorance.

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Here’s where I’m at now.

I  reached out to my people. Thank the good Lord for giving me so many amazing people. They helped and they started to heal the brokenness inside me. All of Judah’s warriors stepped up and reminded me that there is more good out there. I won’t say more good then bad because this person is not bad. This person is uninformed and sadly mistaken. I will not be revealing where this place is and who it is because it is not my goal to defame or ruin anyone. With the help of one of Judah’s biggest supporters, we will supply this business with information about what Down syndrome is and the correct language to use. The high road is made of dirt and gravel and potholes. It’s a hard road to take. But the destination is so much sweeter. It feels good here. The people with this heart warming disability make you want to take it.  The love of their spirit won’t allow you to go low.

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Maybe we save this person? Maybe we don’t? In the end all we can do is stand together and grow bigger. My child has grown the most incredible garden of kindness I have ever seen.  It is fascinating! The enormity of  what his little life has done has performed the unthinkable… it is even healing  the wounds of being hit by a heart-wrenching bus.

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