Thursday, October 31, 2013


Everyday I find more reason to be grateful, more people who deserve my thanks, and further my understanding of the beauty in each person. I always come back to a three groups and one individual who I think have influenced my ability to welcome Mariana without any sadness or wistful fantasies of what might have been.

The first is my parents. Duh. Mom and Dad, thank you. Thank you for having eight kids when everyone thought you were crazy, ignorant, selfish and weird. Thank you for teaching us that babies are always good news. Thank you for letting us know that your love was never gauged by our performance as human beings. Thank you for telling me how the doctor said I would "be less than perfect" and how that made zero difference in your love for me. Thank you for teaching me to trust that God has all this handled, that I don't have to be a perfect parent and that siblings are the best gift any child could have.

To the parents of children with Down syndrome who came before, thank you for taking your babies home instead of leaving them at the hospital. Thank you for letting them grow up in a family that had expectations, patience, love and arguments. Thank you for being the person the school administrators dread seeing. Thank you for insisting your kids could learn, should learn and had the same rights as every child. Thank you for allowing yourself to be labelled "pushy", "entitled", "in denial" and "a pain in the ass" by teachers, principals and school boards. Thank you for withstanding being gossiped about and ignored. Thank you for not accepting a blanket description of you children's abilities, or believing everything about them was disabled. Thank you for understanding that you are the people who know your children best, not the medical journals. Thank you for allowing me to go to high school with your child who loved dogs, dancing, laughing and football. Thank you for instilling in me that kids can be trusted to be kind to your children.

To the school administrators and teachers who came before; Thank you. Thank you for opening up to interesting possibility. Thank you for being curious. Thank you for trusting those parents who insisted things you were taught were impossible, were actually possible. Thank you for being ignorant that "those people can't learn to read", and instead finding out how to teach them anyway. Thank you for believing typical kids needed atypical kids. Thank you for eventually giving in to that "pain in the ass parent", even if it was to get her off your back.

To the baby I wake up to everyday; Thank you. Thank you for not reading the manual. Thank you for being so contrary, for hearing that you can't do something and doing that very thing. Thank you for sleeping through the night early on. Thank you for being so independent. Thank you for wanting to be one of the big kids. Thank you for getting your feelings hurt when you are left out. Thank you for cuddling when you don't want to do your work. Thank you for getting in the toilet. Thank you for unrolling the toilet paper. Thank you for splashing in the dog water. Thank you for needing things done differently. Thank you for inspiring your siblings to work harder, to stand up for what is right, to love someone who isn't as capable as they are. Thank you for teaching your mom and dad to work toward an uncertain future, to hope without insisting on results, that life is good even when it's scary and sad and terrible.

No comments:

Post a Comment