Monday, April 3, 2017


Dear Jules,

Today could have been, well, shitty.  Literally, it was.  You've been in between constipation and diarrhea for a while now, and today was one of those "blowouts."  You'll be glad to know that I'm not going to talk about poop for this entire blog post, although the issue has been consuming my life lately.   The situation could have been rough; I get a call in the middle of teaching to come get you and clean you up--give you a bath.  This, as many working moms know, could have thrown my entire day off the rails.

But I'm blessed in your Daddy, who called me immediately and asked whether he should do it.  I decided to go (I was in office hours at the time), but I'm able to be back at work because of Addison's mommy, who has been taking care of you.  She has been such a godsend; she gets what you need because her little girl also has special needs.  She reads with you, does homework with you, and then Addison is there to play with you and to be your really special friend.

Today, when Ms. Heather drove away with you and Addie in the backseat, I looked at your little smiling heads peeking up over the windowsills and got a lump in my throat.  You both looked so very happy to be with one another, and I knew that, no matter how shitty this day could have been, we are really very blessed.

Let me take a brief detour and tell you the amazing story of how Addie and Ms. Heather came into our lives.  You were about one, and we enrolled you in Kindermusik.  It was a regular class, and I honestly had no idea that Addie had special needs until we met her again, years later, in therapy, and then at Chick Fil-A.  We kept on meeting and, when after school care wasn't working out this year, I called Heather and asked whether she could take care of you.  You and Addie have been thick as thieves ever since, and she even got us to join Miracle League, which has been so inspirational to watch.  You and Addie are both on the Braves- here's a picture of you two together:

As Ms. Heather said, you will have a lot of great friends (and I'm grateful for all of them!), but it's really special to have someone who just "gets you," who doesn't see you as someone who has to be taken care of, who sees you as her equal.

What a blessing.

Friday, January 20, 2017

A Historic Day

Dear Jules,

Today, January 20, 2017, is a historic day, a day filled with much celebration and rejoicing.  People who don't know us might assume it's because our country is inaugurating its 45th president, Donald Trump...but anyone who knows me and the issues important to me knows that cannot be the case.

And yet today we celebrate someone who will (and already has) changed the world: you.  As you turn six, I think about all of the people whose lives and ideologies you have already touched and affected, starting with myself.  When you were born, I knew nothing about Down Syndrome, and I was scared, not sure I was "up to" the job of being your mom.  But you are so awesome, and Down Syndrome, I have learned, is just a part of the amazing person you are.  You've also taught this lesson to Dad (pretty quickly!  you've always been his pride and joy), Nagyi, Grammy, Papa, your Godparents, our friends and colleagues, your friends at all of the schools you've attended...and I think your inclusion and presence in our world will help people think a little bit differently.

So on a day when "difference" isn't what most people are celebrating- when we have to hear a pastor give a sermon about "God's chosen" president- I celebrate the fact that God chose you to be my daughter, to teach me to let go of my need to control everything and see where life will take me.

But since it is inauguration day, here is you watching Obama's 2nd.