Saturday, October 30, 2010

What's the worst part of having a child with Down syndrome?

My easy answer? Other people.

If you've been reading my blog this month you'll know why I say that. I've been slammed; my kids have been slammed. It isn't fun.

One thing that might not be evident, though, is that although I've written about all these things over the course of the last few weeks, they happened over the course of years. In a way, that's the problem: you are coasting along, thinking people have accepted your kids and WHAM! You find out you were just in deeper denial than you'd realized.

You might think that I need to develop thicker skin. I wish! The opposite seems to be true. Vera, Emma and Ella live in the most tender part of my heart. All the slings and arrows of the world have a direct shot to cause me pain. That skin won't ever callus, though, because all the sweet, cute, loving, adorable, funny things my girls do on a daily basis keep me tenderized. I would have to become indifferent to them in order to harden my heart to the world around us. Impossible.

All the sweet, cute, loving, adorable, funny things they do also serve another purpose: they keep me laughing, loving, and most of all, forgiving. We do all sin and fall short of the glory of God. We are not righteous, no not one. We are each the chief of sinners.

They also fill me with a deep hope that true acceptance of their humanity is close. Lately, I've been repeating the first verse of Emily Dickinson's beautiful poem in my mind. It comes to closest to speaking for my tenderized heart.

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the song without the words,
And never stops at all.

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