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Monday, January 22, 2007

"Family Matters"

Earlier this month I came across a blog called Chewing The Fat. Dave Hingsburger wrote a post titled Family Matters and I wanted to share it with you. You can read the entire post at that link, but I'll just quote part of the story.

He was checking in at a hotel where a family of 5 was in front of him. The father had made some mistake with the reservation, the mother was grumpy and snapped at him.

Suddenly there was a voice from the youngest of the group. "Mom, stop being mean to dad. He just made a mistake, you should be patient with him like you are with me when I make a mistake." She looked sheepish and apologized. We all smiled. The two other daughters glanced at each other, their eyes meeting knowingly. This had obviously happened before, often. I thought I heard the accent so I double checked and sure enough the youngest had Down Syndrome. I'd recognize that lilt anywhere.

Dad smiled at his wife and said, "You'd better listen to your daughter." Then the little girl turned on her dad, "Well, Dad, Mom's just mad cause you keep making mistakes. You never ask for help, so you keep making mistakes. I don't make a lot of mistakes cause I know when to ask for help." Mom looked vindicated and Dad looked put in his place. This kid had no lack of self esteem or assertiveness. She stood there looking at both of them like a frustrated parent.

"I guess, I've been told," Dad said looking at the clerk who was grinning now. Suddenly none of them seemed as tired and disgruntled as they were just moments before.

As he handed the key to his wife, he handed his credit card to the clerk. Mom and brood headed towards the elevator. Dad said, under his breath, "She was the best tough decision we ever made."

Tears sprung to my eyes. She was wanted. Expected. Decided upon. She survived.

And she clearly delivered.

I wonder who the family would have been without her. What the evening would have been like without her to give gentle but firm wisdom. To not take sides. To be a bridge over troubled water.

I wonder if that extra chromosome carries with it common sense and uncommon wisdom?

I wonder what they expected.

I wonder at what they got.

I love how Mr. Hingsburger used the word "wonder" with different meaning in the last 2 sentences.

He wondered (was curious) what the parents were expecting. Then he wondered (marveled) at what their daughter has brought them.

I wonder at what I got with Kayla too.

41 comments:

Much More Than A Mom said...

Wow, Michelle. That's awesome. She's a gift, that's for sure!

Having worked with many many people (mostly adults) with DS, I know that they're all a gift, just as every other child is, but in such an amazing way. (Does that sound wierd?)

Nisa said...

This is a beautiful post.
love you,
Nisa

Tammy and Parker said...

I think we both got incredible blessings, Michelle.

I absolutely love this story, Michelle!

Beck said...

Gorgeous post. I'll go check out the orginal - thanks for the heads up!

Beck said...
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Beck said...

Excellent post! I'll go check out his writing - thanks for the heads-up.

Beck said...
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Beck said...
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Beck said...

Oh look! Four comments by me. Sorry, blogger was being weird.

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Anonymous said...

Kayla already has Wisdom , insight, & perception of the world around her and she is your "unexpected", "unknown" child you and Joe had 3 1/2 years ago and look at what she brings you: laughter, joy, boundless energy, eager to learn and do things on her own(little miss independent) :)
unconditional LOVE, she is sweet and sassy!! and as she says, " I cute". She is extremely "observant" of people and things around her and most of all she will keep you and Joe on your toes at all times!!! You and Joe chose the "Gift of Life" You and Joe are my Heroes!!!!!!!! Thank you for "our little Kayla" she truly amazes us all... love mom

ChupieandJ'smama said...

That's a beautiful post! Thank you so much for sharing. I wonder at the marvel that is our children!

chelle said...

Ok I totally have goose bumps! I know I take it for granted that all children are wanted, extra hair, chromosome, volume (hehe), but to read it like that just warms my heart. Thanks for sharing!

Dori (Aviva's mommy) said...

Great story...

HUGS!

Barb said...

This is powerful, Michelle. I have no doubt you got a LOT with Kayla. Just look at her. She's going to give you two a run for your money for sure!

One thing did smack me right in the face. I remember when my kids were little, I fell into the habit of talking to Rob the same way I talked to them. Luckily, I realized what I was doing and stopped it but I did treat him like he was one of my kids for a while.

I think of that extra chromosome as just a little bit more of an already wonderful little girl!

Miranda said...

What a sweet story, Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Oh that was wonderful!!!!We all are so blessed to even have known these precious people,our children.

K.T. said...

sorry that last one was mine.......

Linda said...

Clearly, you -and they- got a precious gift from a Father who loves all of you dearly.
That was so moving Michelle.

Kathleen Marie said...

Wow, this is just so perfect a post and what a HUGE BLESSING you got with Kayla and what a huge blessing you are to all of us who read your post. I love visiting here because it is a happy place.

Kayla is love personified. Children are a blessing from the Lord, all of them.

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing!

Hugs!

Angie said...

beautiful! thanks for sharing...can I use this on my blog?

I'm so glad I'm back online and reading your blog again!

*hoping this doesn't show up twice*

Amy said...

I just appreciate that you share Kayla with the rest of us! She is a true joy and I always look forward to seeing her everyday!

I couldn't believe the Colts came back to win~seriously! I thought we were a goner.

Oh! Thank you for the tip! I hadn't thought about that before and I am going to give the sandpaper a try! I want to be in the world not stuck at home where there is alot of work to do ;o)

Pamela said...

So very true! Really puts it out there, that sometimes we are blessed and don't even realize to what degree! Every child is a unique and wonderful blessing! Maybe even more so with that extra little 21st something. What a heart of gold! :)

Princess Morgan said...

What a glorious story. Kudos! I know we have the most precious children in the world and they have so much to teach US!

Sandra said...

You know it's always like that, you're blessed and sometimes don't even realize it.

I think we all tend to take our children for granted at times, without even realizing the beauty and joy we're passing up on.

Thanks for this Michelle, brought a smile to my face.

Kentucky Gal said...

That was an awesome post!!
would you hug little Kayla from me??
:-D

LeslieAnn said...

Love it!

And I agree with your comment. Those feelings were certainly fleeting and short-lived. Jack and Kayla are truly gifts I'm so glad we are able to share them with others...we are so blessed.

:)

trisomymommy said...

I love that blog too. That story has been rolling around in my head, sort of keeping me company every since he first posted it.

PEA said...

Dear Michelle...thank you so much for sharing this story with us! I had tears in my eyes while reading it...so very touching. Kayla is a true wonder herself:-) Hugs xox

Trace said...

That was such a sweet and wonderful story! Thank you for sharing. :)

Shelley said...

A lovely post to quote - I too wonder at both my children.

Jessica said...

Great post Michelle! I've been reading his blog too and he has some interesting posts.

Catch said...

What you got was a beautiful little girl, with a personality all of her own, and a heart as big as they come. My neices step son has DS and we all just love him so much. He is such a joy. He is 20 some years old now. He brings the love out in everyone he meets.

Overwhelmed! said...

How beautiful is that?! I love this post!

It was neat to hear Kayla's happy, playful voice in the background as we chatted on the phone yesterday. She is such a joy! I'm still not sure if I'll get to see you both. It's snowed here in El Paso. Has it snowed in Alamogordo?

Anonymous said...

What a beauitful story. I love how the little girl became the teacher and parent.What a smart little girl. I think you 'll have all that and more from Kayla. She is such a beauitful and happy child. She has a smile that could light up a room. I love the videos you post of her.I love how she says sorry to objects. You can tell how caring she is.Kayla is truly a beauitful loving little girl.
love,
mimi

Jen said...

What a great story...thanks for bringing it to my attention!

A Special Family said...

What a wonderful post. Having a cousin and a friend with down syndrome I have never seen bigger brighter blessings...

Deb said...

Michelle, that is such a great post. I agree with MMTAM, Kayla is a treasure.

Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

Because I needed a good cry first thing in the morning! Gah.. what a beautiful beautiful story. Children are such amazingly wonderful beings. We're all so blessed to share the world with them.

Melany aka Supermom said...

That so beautiful. Man that brought tears to my eyes and a smile on my face