Monday, December 17, 2012

What Does Santa Know About Down Syndrome and Remembering the Angels

Tommy and Joey sat on Santa's lap a few times over the past couple weeks. Tommy has finally overcome his fear of Santa (he seems to have figured out that Santa=Presents) and Joey has a healthy interest in figuring out what that large white beard is all about. 

Last weekend they had the chance to sit on his lap once again and discuss hopes and wishes for Christmas 2012.  Tommy would like "a dragon castle" and I'm pretty sure Santa is going to bring Joey a water table to help him work on his standing skills. 

When Tom and I walked over to pick up Joey and Tommy after their turn, Santa looked at us and said, "Joey is a very special boy."  Uh oh.  Here we go. We hear the word "special" in our life a lot. There is the Special Olympics, special needs, special schools, special toys--sometimes so much that you wonder what "special" really is anymore. I try not to be defensive.  I really do. Most of the time I do a pretty good job of it. I pray to God and ask for grace and patience and understanding. Sometimes I just don't want to be told my kid is "special" because he has Down syndrome. Sometimes I just want him to be another kid sitting on Santa's lap.

Santa went on to say, "You know, I have a daughter just like Joey, but she is grown up." Then the tears started and I felt so horribly ashamed for puffing up my mother hen feathers and being immediately ready to be defensive.   "She is doing great," he went on.  "She lives on her own and has a job and a wonderful life."

Santa at FCC told us about his beautiful daughter who also has an extra chromosome.

Turns out-- Santa happens to know a lot about Down syndrome. Turns out I'm still praying for grace, patience and understanding. Turns out, not knowing what everyone is thinking all the times is pretty amazing. Turns out, it's important to give people a chance to share their thoughts with you. 

Remembering the Angels

Today the family of Noah Pozner buried their precious son. How does a parent survive burying a child? How does a parent survive when their baby doesn't come home from school one day and never will? How do any of us ever come to grips with what happened? How do we explain it to our children? How do we resist the urge to politicize this unthinkable tragedy? How do we fight for what will keep our children and our society safe? How do we move forward?

For a parent to bury their child must be one of the worlds' greatest injustices. We are praying for all of the children, the families, the siblings, the teachers and the community of Newtown, Connecticut. 

Today, Veronique Pozner did what every parent prays they will never have to do. She gave a eulogy for her son. As she says to her son, "Take flight, my boy. Soar." I hope you find as much comfort in her words as I did. Her grace and strength is remarkable.

The sky is crying, and the flags are at half-mast. It is a sad, sad day. But it is also your day, Noah, my little man. I will miss your forceful and purposeful little steps stomping through our house. I will miss your perpetual smile, the twinkle in your dark blue eyes, framed by eyelashes that would be the envy of any lady in this room.
Most of all, I will miss your visions of your future. You wanted to be a doctor, a soldier, a taco factory manager. It was your favorite food, and no doubt you wanted to ensure that the world kept producing tacos.
You were a little boy whose life force had all the gravitational pull of a celestial body. You were light and love, mischief and pranks. You adored your family with every fiber of your 6-year-old being. We are all of us elevated in our humanity by having known you. A little maverick, who didn't always want to do his schoolwork or clean up his toys, when practicing his ninja moves or Super Mario on the Wii seemed far more important.
Noah, you will not pass through this way again. I can only believe that you were planted on Earth to bloom in heaven. Take flight, my boy. Soar. You now have the wings you always wanted. Go to that peaceful valley that we will all one day come to know. I will join you someday. Not today. I still have lots of mommy love to give to Danielle, Michael, Sophia and Arielle.
Until then, your melody will linger in our hearts forever. Momma loves you, little man.

1 comment:

  1. What a beautiful post...

    Margaret Kaeberlein


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