Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Someone is... Reading!

I have to brag a little bit.

Okay, it's more like a lot.

It has brought me to tears to realize that...

... are you ready?

Brady P. can read!

He can open his kindergarten reader books and read many of the words by sight.  He is also able to sound out some other words and use the pictures as cues and context.

The boy has a photographic memory, so he also memorizes words easily.

He is very proud of this fact, and will read his books to anyone who will listen.

He might start out pretty quiet and shy, but when I remind him to read loudly, he straightens up and nearly shouts the words!

So, ummm, wow!

This little 5-year-old boy is reading and loving it!

Here is a little video for evidence.

Please enjoy.  And remember... anything is possible!



After I took this video, he read a new book about vegetables.  What really surprised me was that, even though some of the pages read "This is a ______," some of them read "These are ________," and he caught it!  He read the correct words the first time!

This lets me know that he is not just reading robotically.  And he is so sweet when he gets to a word that he doesn't know, and he looks up at me for help.  We sound it out together and keep on reading.

Those are some moments to cherish, I tell you!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Stage Fright

Brady P. had his first Christmas pageant last night!

It was all pretty new and exciting as he has't yet performed in a Christmas, Thanksgiving or Memorial Day Program.  This was his first performance in front of half the town.

He had no idea what was coming.

We went to the school house early to get him in his elf costume.  


Cute as a button, he was!  I was pleased with how eager he was to put it all on.  No struggles.  Whew!

He ran out into the performance area with the other kids before the show began.  Everything seemed pretty normal to him.

Then, just 10 minutes before the show, all the kids went into the "preschool room" to wait for their grand entrance.

Unbeknownst to Brady P, the room filled up with townsfolk while they were in there. 

The lights dimmed as I sat in my front row seat.  When I heard the first jingle of bells prancing out, I started my video rolling.  Out came the first elf, then the second, then... a jingle of bells plopped down by my feet and pouted, "Noooo!"

Braeden parked his green and red velvet tushy on the floor and was not going to budge.  

Alrighty then, I thought.  Into the preschool room we go.

I thought I'd be able to convince him to go back out.

"Your friends are out there!" I said.  And I told him the names of some of his favorite people in town.

"No!" he retorted.  "It's too scary."

"All the people are too much for you?" I asked.

"Yes," he said and grabbed a fistful of my hair for comfort.

I immediately thought back to my first Christmas program.  I was in preschool.  The moment I saw how many people were in the audience, I bawled, and refused to go on the stage.

So I had compassion for the little man.  

I told him my story and held him in my arms.  We changed him out of his elf suit, so he didn't feel like such a spectacle.

By the time the show was over, chairs were moved, people stood up and the lights were bright.  Brady P. was happy to enter the masses in that setting.

Then, all the sudden, we heard a "Ho ho ho!"  Santa came!

All the kids rushed out, and gathered around.  Braeden was the first (and maybe only) kid to give him a big hug.  All the people said, "Awwww," and I don't blame them!  I teared up!

So the rest of the night went well.  And we made it through the debut performance.  I think it's a right of passage to run off with stage fright your first time out there.  Brady P. is apparently no exception.

Next time he'll know what to expect!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Video Memories

I think it was Friday before I realized I forgot to post on Wednesday.

But Wednesday was Christmas.  I was in Wisconsin with my family and even extended family that I haven't seen in years. I drank a couple Old Fashioneds and walked around with bells on my shoes. 

I was being so merry that I forgot about you.  Sorry!

So here are some highlights from our holiday.  It sure was a banger of a Christmas time.  As someone who doesn't have a real Christmas tradition, I never know what we're going to encounter year to year.

But this year was pretty special!


(If you are reading this on the automated email, please click onto the blog page, so you can see the videos.)

That first video is a visit from Santa.  I was shocked that Braeden was so excited and warm to the jolly man.  He wouldn't go near him at Winter Wonderfest, but maybe he felt safer at Nana and Grampy's house.

One of wee man's gifts was a microphone/music playing stereo. It's sweet.  We even figured out to turn it into a karaoke machine!  I don't have permission to show you those videos, but let me just say that when Nana sang Super Trooper like she was on stage, my dad and I almost peed our pants.

This next video is an example of what Brady P. does with a microphone.  He starts to say the names of dinosaurs in alphabetical order.  Whaaaaaaaat?  What 5-year-old knows a dinosaur name for each letter of the alphabet in order?

Brady P. Pie Rogers does.

He is a genius.

Here's a snippet.



So we had family and friends over every day for four days in a row.  That's a lot of homemade wine sampling.  That's a lot of meals.  And at each meal, Brady P. would look at people, one by one, and say, "EAT!"

The accused non-eater would say "I'm eating!" through a mouthful of ham or meatballs or pie or whatever was being chewed.  We chuckled at his love for bossing people around.

But then we turned the table on him.

When all four grandparents were sharing a meal (a beautiful thing in itself) we all pointed to little man and told him to eat.  His reaction was priceless!  We all cracked up with tears in our eyes.

Here is a replication of that moment.  His reaction was the same, but you can never quite capture the surprise and humor of an original moment.



That little boy.  He sure knows how to command an audience!

Well, I hope you have some wonderful memories yourself.  By gosh, by golly, have yourself a joyous new year.

Happy 2020!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Not Just a Cold

Today is day two out of probably (hopefully only) three that Brady P. is home from school.  Sick.  With a cold.

How do I know it's just a cold?

Because I took him to see a medical professional yesterday.  After new parent trial and error, most parents don't take their kids in to the doctor when they think it's just a cold.  There's really nothing to do except keep them comfortable, keep them away from others and push the fluids.

But "just a cold" does not mean what it means for most kids what it means for Brady P. 

Monday night was another one of those scary nights.  I almost called 911. Several times.  But once I got little man calmed down enough, he could breathe better.  Yes, he was breathing.  That's vital.

Living 45 minutes to an hour away from an emergency room is a bit daunting when you wonder if your child is going to keep breathing through the night.  However, this isn't our first (or second or third or forth, etc.) time dealing with this.

With a little memory prodding from my mother the nurse, it finally clicked with me just what is going on with Brady P's breathing.

Please note that most kids with Down syndrome often have a thing or two or three that their parents have to deal with as extra medical conditions.

The two big ones we have dealt with Braeden are mostly resolved.  They continue to be on watch each year or two.

But now I have finally realized that this is Braeden's extra medical fret.

Not only is his entire body smaller than an average child his age (less than 1% on the growth chart), but so are most things inside him -- his airway being no exception.

So take his extremely small airway and shove a ventilator tube down it for two different surgeries before he was one year old.  Each time after the tube was removed, he had excess inflammation and gobs of mucus build-up.  I would bet there's a bit of scar tissue from all of that as well.

These days, even now that he's five, when he gets "just a cold," there is one night of no sleep, calming him down between gasps of air, wondering if I should call 911 and all the small child vocal expressions that go with it.

One night of that is one too many, thank you very much.  Here's where I finally got wise.

Little Brady P. needs special medical treatment at home during that time.  The albuterol nebulizer doesn't quite seem to cut it, so I went to see the doctor yesterday to get him a three day supply of prednisolone, a steroid that helps keep his airway open.  As my mom always said during these times, "You don't mess around with a little person's airway."

She's absolutely right.

I am going to hopefully get him an inhaler of some sort for the next time (and the next and the next) this happens, so I don't have to worry about calling 911 that first night.  Or strapping him into his carseat and navigating the winter roads at 2 in the morning myself.  Cuz the latter is a pretty bad idea for many reasons.

Hopefully, we've got it figured out!

So, that's what we're dealing with during each cold.  And let me tell you, school is amazing in most ways, but pretty brutal in this way.  Before we were just usually quarantined in our little house.

But this is life, and here we go.

We are making the best of it.

Here is him posing in front of the Dino puzzle we finished today.

Little poser

Well, here's to your health and wellness!  Be prepared, my friend!

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Leaps and Bounds

Tuesday I walked into the schoolhouse to pick up wee man, and the teacher started gushing to me about how awesome Brady P. did writing and spelling that day.

"What happened over the weekend?"  Miss Jill asked.  "I mean, it's like leaps and bounds from Friday to Monday."

I didn't even know what to say.  I was just so proud.

His afternoon aid stood there smiling.  A big, blushing grin.

His morning aid sent me a picture of his work earlier in the day.

Lili's name!

His special ed coordinator was blown away too.

"He wrote all the students' names," Miss Jill continued.  "A couple times. And he even wrote mine and came up to me all proud to say 'look what I did!'"

I know he's doing awesome.  I do his homework with him.  I read books with him.  I watch him progress. 

But to see other people beam at the accomplishments of my son fills me not just with pride, but with gratitude.  I am so grateful that he is a student in that school.  Not just because he's progressing, but because everybody notices.  Everybody is impressed.  And everybody is so proud of him.

The fact that little Brady P. shows significant progress in the areas he is so far behind in because of his extra chromosome, really touches the people that work with him.  Because they genuinely care about him.

His progress is their heart hard at work.

It's like a sprinkling of magic pixie dust blew through the schoolhouse and tickled everybody to the bone that day.  It's one of those moments where you can take a step back and say, "Wow.  We're really making a difference here."

And it means so much.  To everyone involved.

So, thank you to everyone involved!  You know who you are.  I'm not going to embarrass you anymore than that.

Thank you for caring.  And thank you for feeling proud of your efforts through a little boy who's going to help change the world.  Because you are giving him the tools to help him change it.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

It's Not About Me... or You

Guess who is back!

The cutest, sweetest little boy my world has ever known!

Nap time snuggles... irreplaceable!

Did I ever tell you that I never really wanted to have kids?  

Probably.  It wasn't my thing.

To most people, "having kids" would mean raising one or two "typical" children in a household with a mom and a dad.  And often, that mom and dad wanted kids.

Brady P. and I are not the norm!

Instead, I raise this little boy with an extra chromosome.  Extra indeed.  Me and him.  Him and me.  Unless we have family in town or an occasional sitter. 

I went from not wanting a child to that being my life!

Want to know that ironic part?

I love it!

I absolutely love hanging out with that little man (with the balance of school, of course!).  He is such a joy.  He's an extreme test of patience, psychology, energy and troubleshooting, but a joy nonetheless.

And that somewhat selfish woman that I used to be has totally transformed her purpose in life.  I have realized that my life is not even really about me.  None of our lives are really about ourselves.  They're about how we act and react toward others.  How we give of ourselves in order to help others thrive.

With that said, let me give a quick shout out to Brady P's grandparents: Grammy, Gramps, Nana and Grampy.  They have all, in their own way, gone above and beyond what I thought grandparents would ever desire to do for their grandkids.  I am amazed.  

Though it's not biologically likely, I may have a slim chance of being a grandma someday.  I promise to always give of myself for those little tykers if I get that chance.  Because, like I just said, that's what life is about.

That's the most fulfilling thing you can do for somebody else: help them in their time of need.

So through this whole cycle of, wow, now I have a kid, and wow, I really need help, and wow, look at how people step up to help, and wow, look how much love my child brings into this world, I'd say I'm a much different person.

Not just different, but better.  Purposeful and worthy.  Full of love and light to share.

This world isn't just about my career and what I want to do.  It's not about yours either.  It's about showing kindness and compassion toward others -- especially when times are tough.

That is really how we become better people.  It's how we learn and grow.  And it helps make this world a better place.

Thanks for doing your part!  What's next?

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Balancing Act

So today's post is a tough one.

For one, it's a stinking' blizzard out there to the point that most people just planned on not driving anywhere except maybe to catch a glimpse of the lake.  Plus, the power is out in the harbor.

I'm seeing at least an inch of snow fall per hour in Hancock.

The other tough part is that little Brady P. is with his dad and grandparents in Wisconsin, so I don't really have a cool update.

I can tell you about how I felt before he left, though.

It was different for me.

Before Brady P. was in school, we share darn near most every day together.  All day everyday.  For a mom with dreams other than to raise a child who needed extra attention, it was frustrating.  For a boy who just wanted his mama to do everything he wanted her to do with him and hopefully see the people sometimes, it was boring.

But now, with him in school 5 days a week, we have a balance.  A lovely balance.

I am so excited to see him after school.  I feel like I have the time and energy to dedicate to him on a whole new level.  Sure, Brade, let's play catch for an hour.  Let's sink it for an hour.  Let's do three puzzles in a row.  Let's dance to all the same Beach Boys songs again.

And I cherish it.

All of it.

Because there is balance.

In fact, I now cherish that time together so much, that I actually fretted sending him off to his grandparents' house for over a week.  Don't get me wrong, I know that they will be absolutely wonderful to him.  But he is such a big part of my purpose, that I cried about missing him three times before he even left.

P. Pie and Gramps in their backwards Stormy Kromers

Before he left!

That never happened before.

If you are a parent, you can relate that you need balance and that your child is a part of you and they bring you joy and all that good stuff.

Yes, I know the break is good for everybody.

But Braeden Philip Rogers has such a tender heart that tears well up as I type about it.  He is one of the sweetest little beings I have ever met.

He gives me smooches on my arm when I help him get dressed.  He gives me smooches on my leg when we do his homework.  He smooches my lips and hugs me good morning.

It takes a lot of my energy to give him all that he needs each day, but the rewards have become priceless.  I mean, who wouldn't want those sweet little smooches throughout the day?

And I know that now he's gone smooching Grammy.  But that's okay.  She more than deserves it.  I would smooch her too, if I was there!

Perhaps that's all for now.  You enjoy your day of eating too much food and hopefully being grateful for all that you are, all that you have and all that you can be.

That motto gets you anywhere, my friend.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

The Smell that Changed the Day

I read something lately about making your first thoughts of the morning positive and full of good intentions in order to have a mindset that is conducive for a happy, productive day.  

We've all heard that, I'm sure, but Tuesday, when my alarm went off at 6:45am, and I awoke from a dream to the darkness of the morning, I tried extra hard.

I get to see my sweet man today!  I get to take my van to get fixed, and it's a nice day to drive!  I have lots of work to do for the Copper Harbor website revamp!  I feel good, and I'm going to have a great day!  Time to get Brady P. up for school!  I wonder what silly greeting he'll have for me this morning...

My thoughts and intentions were set.  I was feeling great.

Then I opened the door to Braeden's room.

I was instantly slapped in the face with a terrible odor.  An odor nobody should ever have to smell... or sleep in... as Brady P. did.

"Hey, Braeden..." I uttered.  "Did you puke?"

"Yes," he said in the darkness.

He often says yes to questions he doesn't understand, so I wasn't sure if he knew what I was asking at the time.

"I'm going to turn on your light, okay?  Cover your eyes."

"Yes," he said.

I surveyed the scene around him and wondered how long he had been laying in his own vomit (sorry, this might be kind of gross, if you're eating or not a parent).

"Braeden, did you puke?" I asked again after not seeing any big puddles or chunks, but definitely trying not to do the same thing myself.

"Yes," he said.  He held his sea turtle out to me and pointed to a white ring around his shell.  Yup.  He knew what my question meant!

"Oh, sweetie!"  I lamented.  "Do you feel okay?"

"No!" he said.

"Do you want to go to school today?"

"No!" he wined and began to squirm as another bout of curdled food began to wretch from his guts.

I'll spare you the rest of the details of that moment because that is not my point.  Here's my point.  Well, the first one.

Just as I was feeling good and purposeful and ready for the day, I got a whiff of a sick little boy, and my personal goals went down the tubes.  Everything changed in an instant.

But I had to roll with it.

In between cleaning and changing a little boy and holding him upright while he went into another round of liquid expulsion, I had to call and text a few people to cancel my plans for myself and for him at school.

Whew.  I got everyone notified.  I got the boy cleaned up.  He seemed stable for a moment, so we snuggled in my bed until he woke up... in another bout.

Oy!

But this time, and the couple times after he was done sharing the juice he swallowed, he went from a hot squirrelly mess to looking at me with gratitude and saying "all done."

"You're all done vomiting?" I asked in disbelief.  I mean, how does a little kid know that it's over for now?

"Yup!" he answered and ran off to play as fast as I could catch him to wipe him up and change his clothes.  Again.

Here's my second point.  That kid is tough as nails.  I mean, wow.  

He's sick from some bug that we couldn't really figure out yet, goes into these awful bouts of purging, then goes about the rest of the day like business as usual. 

Sure, he didn't really eat a whole lot and he got tired for bed earlier than usual, but we still danced to the Beach Boys, jumped on his trampoline, did puzzles, watched a couple videos on the computer, read books, took a bath, etc.

Snuggling warm and dry after bath number one

Business as usual.

Just some wrenching and lots of laundry in between.

Well, rest assured he is much better today.  Day two missed of school in a row, but I wasn't chancing the teachers having to clean that up!

We made it through.  It's just life.  Life that we have to carry with a positive attitude in order to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

That's just what we did.  Thanks to everyone who wished him well and called with concern.  And thanks to Craig for coming to help and snuggling with us.

Here's to another wonderful, productive day... no matter how life makes you follow your nose!

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Whoops!

Oops!  Another Wednesday has come and gone. 

I'll catch you next week!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Halloween

Brady P. has been into Halloween for a while now.  

Like, ten months.

So imagine how much he liked it when the Halloween holiday came around!

I'll let him tell you about it.

***

Hi.  This is Braeden.

I really like Halloween.  My mom and I started listening to Halloween videos on Bounce Patrol a long time ago, and we did the Halloween Stomp every morning.  She was really good at it, and I liked to watch her moves.

I learned about werewolves, spiders, witches, zombies, ghosts, pumpkins, skeletons, mummies, vampires and other scary creatures.  Boo!

Every time I got to watch computer, I would pick a Halloween video.  I probably watch 100 Halloween videos or more.

I got really good at pretending to be Halloween guys.  First the zombie.  Then I learned the ghost by finding one of mom's towels and putting it over my head and shouting boo!  I do a good mummy too.  It's kind of like a zombie, though because I put my arms out in front of me, walk slow and groan.  I can even be a vampire when I put my arm over my mouth like it's my cape.

Finally, it started to really be Halloween time.  I could tell because that's what we did at school, and mom put up decorations around the house.  My favorite was the spider.  It was really big like a tarantula and I wanted to see it, but if she moved it toward me, I got really scared.  One time it even made my heart hurt.  It scared mommy a couple times too.

Then one day she asked me what I wanted to be for Halloween.  She thought I was going to pick a zombie because I was so good at pretending to be a zombie, but I picked a ghost, and made her be a zombie!

When she came to my school Halloween party, she was a zombie really good!  Some of the kids were scared, but I knew it was her, and she pretended to be a zombie so good, I was really proud of her.

She scared the kids, but I scared her because even zombies are afraid of ghosts!

Me and mom at school being scary

Later we went trick-or-treating on the bus.  The bus was way more full than when I go to school in the morning.  It was really loud too.  All the kids were dressed up and the parents were loud.  I got to eat a bunch chocolate.  I love chocolate. 

When we stopped and got off the bus, I carried my pumpkin bucket and said "hi"  and "boo" to the people, and they gave me candy.  I like that idea!

It was pretty fun, but I was tired and it was loud.

Now Halloween is over and I pretend to be a dinosaur.  I am really good at it.  You should hear my roar.  I am good at stomping too.  I also like to watch dinosaur videos when it's computer time.

Okay, bye!

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Hodgepodge

Happy Wednesday!

What's up for today?  

A hodgepodge.

I shared this on Facebook today.  I've been seeing these facts  -- one for each day of October -- on a friend's timeline who also has a son with Down syndrome.  This one just hit me enough to share.


It's so true for me.  But I can also see how it has affected the rest of Brady P's family, his friends, his classmates and our community.

His extra chromosome brings that acceptance and love we are trying to share with the world.

Brady P. and I have been taking walks around town in the sunshine.  I just laugh because he takes the same route each time unless I can convince (or trick) him into going a different way.

A creature of habit to the max, I tell ya.

Looking through Third Street Dock

Tomorrow is Halloween.  The kids have a party at school, then Trick-or-Treating ensues in the evening.  I'm excited about it!

Wee Man picked our costumes this year.  He is going to be a ghost, however, he doesn't like wearing his costume... and I am supposed to be a zombie.  When I cut up my clothes for my costume, tried them on and walked out of my room like a zombie to see Braeden, he shook his head and said "no!" and ran to the front door.  Trapped.

So I had to turn back into mom and ask if he liked my costume.  "Yes!" he said.

We should have some pics of being all dressed up for next time.

And now we'll end it with a video that I cropped a bit too much.  Sorry.  

It starts with me saying "Johnny Johnny," but I think there's only one Johnny in there.  

I'm so proud of how he is coming along with his words.  We will often reverse roles on the parts.  He can do them both.  And if there is a crowd, he recites it with arm motions and expression so grand that you'd think he was reenacting a Shakespeare play!

Get it, boyeee!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Meaning of Life

October is Down syndrome awareness month.

If you would like to read some run-of-the-mill facts about it, please click here.

If you would like to read my personal, in-depth experience as I learned about Down syndrome from Brady P, you can purchase a copy of my memoir, Digging for Light, here. (Use coupon code "friends" to save 30% on all items.  All orders over $20 ship for free!).

But this is not a commercial, and I am not just trying to promote awareness about Down syndrome.

I am writing to you, right now, to promote love and acceptance for EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THIS PLANET!!!

Yes, people with Down syndrome are extraordinary.  I've learned so much from my son that I would never trade my life before him (or life with an "ordinary" child) for my life now.

But do you know who else has great qualities?

You.

Your best friend.  The people in your family, even if you don't like them.  The lady with funny glasses who walks through the cafeteria humming the same song everyday.  People with skin of a different color who live across the globe.  The guy driving the taxi cab who almost hit you this morning.  The kids at the school near you.  

Every single person on this planet has something good in them.  Something worth nurturing because growing the good is better than growing the bad.  And what we focus on is what we get.  

Period.

Everybody is different, but everybody has a gift to share.

It's easy to see the good in people you already love.  Not the people you might say you "hate."  Hate is a strong word.  Even though I have had some horrifying experiences with other people in the last couple years, I can still say that I don't "hate" the people who treated me that way.  I don't even wish them ill will.  I actually wish them the best!  Because, dag nabbit, there is something good in them, or I never would have gotten involved in the fist place!

Don't think I am an instant angel.  It took time, forgiveness,  meditation, prayers, lots of journaling and buckets of tears to get to the point where I can honestly say that I wish those people the best.  I just choose not to be around them.  We have gone our separate ways, and I can breathe fully.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

Okay.  Your turn!

Think of someone you feel an extreme dislike towards.  
  • Maybe they harmed you or your family.  That is unacceptable, but not a reason to hate them.  They probably had a rough upbringing that they never got over, so they took it out on innocent people.  It happens all the time.  I'm not trying to minimize any hurt that you feel, but taking back your power and realizing that you are no longer a victim is going to help move things forward.  I did it, too.

  • Maybe the person you dislike has a position over you at work or in society, and they are always putting you down.  That is also unacceptable behavior.  So why would they do that?  (You can call them names, but then you are using the same tactic as they are.)  They are in a delusional position of authority which makes them think it's normal to feel separate from you or better than you.  Somewhere they lost the importance of respect.  That is not okay.  You should never let someone treat you as less than the amazing person you are.  How would you fix it?  Tell them!  Tell them you do not feel respected (and chances are that most other people around you feel the same way, so use that to your advantage!).  And do it with respect to show them what is possible.  If you lose your job/position because of it, then good.  That gives you a chance to start over some place you are respected and appreciated.  Your whole life will improve.  I did this, too!
  • Maybe you don't even personally know the person in real life.  Perhaps you only see them on TV or the news.  Well, then, how can you really hate them???  You don't even know them!  Yes, they might make selfish decisions and say horrible things about other people, but why do they do that?  How do they really feel about themself?  Is it all for show?  To pretend they're in control?  Lack of their own self-esteem?  What childhood scars do they need to work through?  Perhaps they should do work on themself before they try to be a leader or a role model.  I completely agree with that.  But does hating them help?  No!
Right now you either think I'm a wacko or that I have a really big, squishy heart.  I'll let you decide.  Either way, that doesn't change how I feel about you.

I will still send you love.

We all must send love.  

Let me just stand on top of the pulpit here and throw my fists in the air when I shout this:

WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO LOVE AND BE KIND TO EVERYBODY!!!

Look at this world!  How did we get into this mess???  

We divided ourselves into groups.  Us vs. them.  But that's not the truth.  We are all in this together.  If one part of the earth goes under, we all go under!  We are all on the same sphere floating and spinning through the galaxies!!!  How can we separate ourselves from that fact???

Doing that is our greatest flaw.  We simply have to change our mindset.

This will be easier for some people than others, but we have to try.  Not just everyday but in every moment.  It's a journey we all have to take, and it will take constant practice.  

Not only do we need to love an accept ourselves for who we are and where we're at, we need to grow.  We need to get through our own pain, so we can recognize other people's pain and show them compassion.  Then they can grow and recognize somebody else's pain and show them compassion and on and on and on until we are able to put our own egos aside and realize that we all want to be loved and accepted.

When we get down to brass tacks, what else is there?

We are made from love, my friend, and love will sustain us.  It is the only way we are going to save ourselves.

Now let me get off this soap box, and say, Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  Because a little boy with Down syndrome taught me the meaning of life.

Brady P. says, "You're welcome!"