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.