Square Peg ● Round Hole







I wrote several weeks ago about the plight I was having writing a speech that would chronicle the journey of raising a child with Down syndrome.    Packing twenty years into  7-10 minute speech was tedious, but I felt that the words would highlight our path.  This breakfast, where I would speak, was introducing an organization that provides services and support in a residential community for intellectually disabled individuals.  This is the place, where one day, I hope Bailey will live.   Today, however, I was asked to tell my story in terms of my role as a mother.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t know a more vulnerable feeling than laying out your deepest emotional journey for a room full of strangers.   Being proactive, I made sure that my table was occupied by loving, supportive people that regardless of my speech, would still care about me and support this incredible cause.  As I stood before the crowd, I began to share.  While reading, it was as though I was transported back to when Bailey was little and all of the obstacles we had to overcome.    Then, out of nowhere, the tears flowed.   Now, my goal was to move the audience, not myself.    With that being said, there is something very honest and raw about unexpected emotion.   It elevates you to a different level where you feel the words you are reading.     At first, I berated myself with the always helpful, “get your shit together” mantra, but that seemed to exasperate the issue.   After I few deep breaths, I was able to proceed and finish my story.

I am never sad about having a child with Down syndrome, instead my tears are one of celebration.  It is the “look how far we have come” exhale grouped with “we still have a long way to go” realization.   The work is never done.    Today, it was an honor to share my journey.     I can honestly say I didn’t do it alone.  Each step requires a community willing to embrace these fantastic individuals.  I am simply one of many who give this cause a voice.