Inspired by the 31for21 Down Syndrome Blog Challenge and happiness-project.com, I began this blog in pursuit of my own happiness while raising my 3 children -- including identical twins with Down syndrome. On these pages, I endeavor to document the bits and pieces of my life that bring me the most happiness and keep me focused on all the positive stuff going on.
Advocacy, Angels and Random Happy Thoughts. These are the threads of happiness that are inextricably woven through the cloth of my life. Staying focused and writing about these things is what keeps me Walking on the Happy Side of Life. I'd love it if you would "Take A Walk on the Happy Side" with me.
As the mother of identical twins who ALSO happened to have been blessed with an extra 21st chromosome (aka Down syndrome) AND who ride around in a big, bright red, side-by-side double stroller… we attract a lot of attention. Add to that the propensity for my boys to warmly greet absolutely EVERY ONE who walks past us, shaking hands, waving hello and blowing kisses and you can see why they’re magnets for attention! My guys and the Old Soul — in my biased opinion — are extraordinary!
Still, some folks walk past and give us “the look”! Every mother of a child with special needs knows about “the look”. That stolen glance that culminates with “politely” looking away and avoiding eye contact lest I recognize the glint of pity in their eye for me and my children. They seem to have “I’m so sorry for you” written all over their foreheads. I think I speak for all of us Moms of kids with special needs when I say, we hate “the look”. And, although we each handle it differently — some in an informative way, some with disdain for the looker, some self-consciously, some with sarcasm, some with humor, and so on — it puts every one in an awkward and uncomfortable position. But, this post isn’t about “the look”. It’s about the OTHER reaction. The mesmerized-by-your-beautiful-angels reaction that inevitably results in a comment that goes something like this….
“You must be a very special person. God doesn’t give children like these to just anyone!”
4 1/2 years into this and I still never know quite how to handle that comment.
You know what? Thanks! I guess, I do believe I’m kind of special! But I don’t think that’s why God gave me these beautiful children. And yes, I do believe THESE particular children were meant to be mine… just as they are. In truth, I think it’s these particular children that make me so special (not vice versa). I know my little guys and my Old Soul are very special. These children have brought me more than my 15 minutes of fame… They’ve immersed me in fame that’s lasted 4 1/2 years so far… with no sign of stopping. It seems as though this fame — their fame — is going to last a life time. Their life time! And, I am happily along for this glorious ride!
Am I basking in the shadow of their limelight? Absolutely! Do I prefer it that way? Absolutely! I do believe I am special… because I am Brian’s and Michael’s AND Olivia’s mother! That’s how I feel… That’s how I think it is…. For me, anyway!
I’m thinking some of you (Hi Mom!) might say that I should recognize how special I am in my own rite. To you [and Mom] I say, yes, I know. Aren’t we all special in our own way? But, the thing that really differentiates me, I think, are these children of mine. They are extraordinary! (All 3 of them!) If I leave any significant mark on this world, it will be because of them. I am — and I suspect I will be remembered as — their mother. Because I know they will leave their mark on this world in such a profound way it defies explanation. They already have for me and for so many others!
So, that’s what’s so special about me!