Thursday, October 25, 2018

The Natural Life

Last week we traveled every day from Wednesday to Sunday.

To and around cities.


I get a knot in my stomach just thinking about them.

But all of Braeden's urology appointments were set up at the children's hospital in Ann Arbor (the best hospital we've ever been to), so we prepared.

I even convinced my mom who, surprisingly didn't need convincing, to take the ferry boat from Milwaukee, Wisconsin across Lake Michigan to Muskegon, Michigan.

While this option didn't necessarily save us time vs. driving around Chicago, it saved me the desire to jump out of the window of the car as it navigated 80 mph around a city full of hundreds of thousands of aggressive drivers.

I hate it.  It does not seem normal to me.  Yet, to some people, it's daily life.

To each their own.

Luckily, we signed up for the ferry.  

While waiting for the freshly arrived boat to unload, Braeden and I played out in the lush Milwaukee grass.  The sun was shining, and we donned only one jacket -- no hats and mittens -- as we had to do in the cold, rainy/snowy mix, gray Keweenaw.

Sometimes it's good to get away.

So we played in the grass.  And when I say played, I mean, Brady P. practiced his dives and rolls.  Laughing and smiling while the drying grass clippings stuck to his Copper Harbor sweatshirt.

It felt very liberating to us both.

I felt proud.

Little Brady P., who had already hugged all the kids his size inside the building, was now enjoying his time in the sunshine to the max.  Running in circles around the lone tree in the yard.  Diving and rolling and laughing.

I'm glad he gets a thrill out of nature.

Cuz I knew we'd be on that boat for almost three hours... and the car for three hours on each side of that.

He loved being on the boat.  So much that he stayed curious the whole time, even though it was his nap time.  He perched in the window to watch the sparkling waves.  I'm sure it reminded him of Lake Superior.


I'm really glad we spent that time outside because that was pretty much the only outdoor time we got.  The weather was up and down, but were often in the car... or the hospital... or in the concrete jungle... not rolling in the grass... or throwing rocks.

At the hospital, however Brady P. checked out with a positive outcome.  And we were told to come back in a year.  "Unless," his doctor said, "you want to skip this extremely long trip and get his next ultrasound done in Marquette.  Then we could just have a phone appointment."

Yes, doctor.  Yes.  We would prefer to skip that trip.

Picture # 4 by Super Man

As luck (and my mood) would have it, the ferry was cancelled on our way home, and we had to drive around Lake Michigan anyway.  But for that, my mom and I compromised, and we took the long way home in order to keep stress levels low, so this Yooper wouldn't jump out of the car. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Those Eyes

Just look at those eyes.
In his element

Those little, almond eyes plunked right in the middle of that beautiful, muddy face.

I now know what lies behind those eyes.








And a longing for acceptance and love in order to feel whole.

Before Braeden came into my life, I would see those eyes on any person with Down syndrome and look away.

Those eyes were not right to me.

Something was wrong with them.

They were too little.  There was nothing meaningful behind them, I thought.  

I was stopping right at the physical "face value" of them, and turning away, my heart hardening more each time.

But now I see those eyes in a whole different way.  I know that they look smaller from the outside.  I understand that that is a test for the onlooker.

Because, in order to feel the magnitude of love behind them, is to cast judgement aside, and look into them.

Not at them.

Into them fully.

And see the soul of a magnificent individual.  See the soul of all souls.  

See myself for who I am.

Before I was scared to see who I really was.  That was why I always looked away.

But I can't look away from my own son.  I am forced to learn.

Now I purposely dive into those eyes in order to scour my own heart for any other impurities.  

Brady P. shows me who I really am.  He shows everyone who they really are, if they look.

Through his wise, little eyes.

Thank you, Brady P.  We love you.

And happy birthday, you little 4-year-old!

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

"Key"romosome to Life

For the last four years, I've been watching videos about people with down syndrome.  They often come into my Facebook news feed and people send them to me in messages and emails because, well, they're relevant.

They are also inspiring.

Now, of course, it's media, and people can broadcast whatever they want to make things seems just they way they want them too seem.  

But there are some things you can't sugar coat.  Somethings you can't fake.  And most definitely, feelings that you can't make up.

I've shared some of these videos with you already, but here is one for this week that has crossed my path a couple times lately.

I love this little girl's spirit.  And confidence.  And her ability to be her own advocate.  It makes me so proud of her, and I don't even know her!

In a way, however, I do know her -- because I know Braeden. And I have a feeling he will be his own advocate too.

Sofia's message

As for me, I'm trying to advocate for everyone.  I believe that we all have a beautiful purpose, and once we are not influenced by greed and illusions of reality, we can let it shine.

Our friends with Down syndrome will be able to help us see this path because they are such a pure and vibrant life force.  They hold the key to how we can learn to do our part in this world.

All we have to do is watch, listen and learn.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Brady P. Sings the Alphabet

I'll spare you the chit chat today.

Brady kept singing the alphabet, so I recorded it for you.  When he got to "g" he smacked me because I was mouthing along.  But, jeez, Mom, he can do it himself!