Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Mushrooms, Cars and Hot Sauce


This is Braeden.

Me and Mummy went on a hike tonight.

It was super fun.

I wanted to play hide-and-seek on the trail, but Mummy said we should find mushrooms.  She called, "Ready or not, Mushrooms.  Here we come!"

And then we looked along the path for mushrooms while we walked.  We found yellow ones, orange ones, brown ones that looked like poop, purple ones with water on top, white ones, tiny red ones that were hiding and some with spots.

I even found one all by myself way down on the side.  It was a reddish-pinkish one.  Mummy was proud.

Sometimes we found one cuz Mummy hid behind a tree.  I was being a zombie, so she ran away and then she would hide cuz she was scared.  When I find her I have to say, "Mummy, it's just me!" and I give her a hug so she's not scared.

I like to be a zombie and chase her through the woods. She really gets scared and hides.  I like it cuz I get her every time.

Sometimes I get to sit outside in the front yard and watch the cars go by.  I see motorcycles and trucks and jeeps and vans and campers and four-wheelers and bicycles and puppies and lots of people.  

I like to say hi and wave to the people.  Sometimes I go pet the puppy if Mummy says it's okay.

There are a super lot of cars that go by.  Sometimes a horn beeps and I wave hi.  They must really like to beep at me.

Also tonight we had green beans from the garden and chicken nuggets for dinner.  I dipped mine in ketchup and Mummy had a sauce, too.  I swirled one of my nuggets in her sauce and my mouth started on fire!

It was so hot!  I tried to wipe it out with my hand, but Mummy shouted, "NO!" and she wiped the rest of the sauce off my hands, so I didn't put more in my mouth.  

I drank some juice cuz Mummy said.  It felt a little better, but not really.  Then I took a bite of green bean and it felt a little better, but not really.

She told me to each a couple more bites of chicken with ketchup, and I would be okay.

I pointed to the red stuff on her plate, and she said, "That's hot sauce."

"That's hot sauce," I said, once I could talk again.

"That's hot sauce." I said again.

Cuz I don't want to dip my chicken in that ever again.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

T-shirts Don't Lie


I have to ask.

Do you have someone with Down syndrome in your life?  I ask because, well, it's really hard to understand the impact of it unless you do.

Then again, maybe that's why you readthis blog!  So you can start to understand.  

Or maybe you read it for the camaraderie because you do have an extraordinary person in your life.  Lucky you!

Let me tell you about a couple t-shirts I bought for full-price online.  This is important because, for one, I don't really like to wear t-shirts.  And for two, I don't like to buy things unless they are on sale or second hand.  

But when these shirts came into my inbox, the words on them hit me so hard that I ordered them (each at different times) right away.

The first says, "Down syndrome Mom: If you think my hands are full, you should see my heart."

I bawled the moment I saw it.  It was, and still is, perfect for my life.  

People often see me and tell me that they don't know how I do what I do.  They are often amazed at my situation.  

Or... something.  

I don't really know how people view me and my son.  I just hear what they tell me sometimes.  Often they say nothing directly to me, and that's just fine.

They can see what they see of us.  They can see that "my hands are full" as I leave my groceries on the end of the checkout counter while I tell the cashier, "I'll be right back!" because my son just got mesmerized by the automating sliding doors and decided to run out of the building.

Or they hear me talk about the three different kinds of therapy that he needs to have in order to even have a chance of catching up to the other kids.

But the kicker is the latter part of the t-shirt.  

"You should see my heart."

Because it bursts at the seams with love.  The grammies and grampies know this.  The aunties and uncles know this.  The community members know this.

Brady P. makes your heart burst with love.

He walks out of his room in the morning, closes the door behind him and greets me with a huge "Good morning" smile, a hug or a joke.  What a way to start the day!

We sit at the picnic table in the yard to eat dinner, and each time he hears a car horn, he shouts, "Hiiiiii!" so loud that it's embarrassing.  Even more so when he stands on the bench waving his arm shouting, "Hiiiiiiiiii!" to a car alarm.  And he does it more and more because I absolutely crack up.  What a ham!

And he gives me sweet kisses on all the parts of my face and says, "I love you, Mommy," and my heart absolutely melts as we embrace in a hug.

He is the sweetest, most loving person I have ever met.  His depth of caring and compassion has taught me to deepen my own.  It's like he's an angel and a human at the same time.

"You should see my heart."

It is so full.  

I would not trade my experiences with him for anything.  And I have never wished he was different.  He's perfect for me and our family and our community.

The other shirt says, "I am a Down syndrome Mom.  What's your super power?" With an S in the Superman emblem.  

I know it seems a bit haughty, but it's true.

When your child has Down syndrome, they don't just walk.  They don't just talk.  They don't just pick up a crayon and draw.  

Without support, love and encouragement, they really are not designed to do too much more besides love people and want to eat sweet food.

This may be a bit generalized, but in my experience with many other parents, it's true.  I mean, decades ago, people with an extra 21st chromosome were thrown into institutions where they were expected never to amount to anything.  


Then people started working with them.  Started giving them the love, support, encouragement, therapy, repetition and community that they need to thrive.

People realized that our extra chromosome friends could learn.  They just need extra help.

You know, I have never really thought about it in that way before, but in that regard, I am helping a small body of a person become what society can deem a worthy human being.

That sounds absolutely horrible.

But that's the way people used to think!

And Brady P. did not get put into an institution where he still can't walk or speak or know all the colors or the alphabet or how to count to 10 in 5 different languages or be able to name a dinosaur for each letter of the alphabet.

No.  He did not go to an institution

He came to be with me.  And our family.

And he can do all those thingsI mentioned.

He is amazing.

So that, I suppose, is why the parent of a person with Down syndrome can wear a superhero shirt.

Because it's true.

Thanks for listening.

Have a wonderful day!


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

What to Choose...


I might just be able to get here every other week for a bit, and that will be okay.  Sorry for any inconvenience it might cause.  I know you look forward to Wednesdays just for this post.  


How are you doing?

Really!  How ARE you feeling?  Overall?  In everyday life?

I just want to remind you that, no matter how you are feeling right now, you are worthy.  You are worthy of love.  If you can freely give love to others, you deserve love freely from others.  


We all do.

That's why Brady P. is here.  To remind us of that.

Please don't let fear consume your life.  There is too much beauty and love out there to focus on something to be afraid of.  

There are two ways to act: out of love or out of fear.  Seriously. Those are the only two ways to make a decision!

Either you are hoping for the best and being your best in order to create the best outcome for all those involved, or you are holding back something due to fear.

Once I learned this (from a Gary Zukav book, I believe) I test it daily.

It has held true.  You can only act out of either love or fear.  Even if you say you are acting out of "rationale," your decision has to be either for the good of others or purely self-serving -- the latter is fear-based.

I don't know if I talked about this before, but it sure seems like a good time in our lives to bring it up again.

You don't even have to agree with me.  But you can test it as you go about your day!  If you find that you disagree, please tell me!  And if you find that it's true, and it has changed how you view life and make decisions on a daily basis, please tell me!

I don't know if you can tell, but I really want to help make a difference in this world.

I want you to be your best self, so I strive to be my best self.  I am trying to lead by example.  Remember, I am not perfect, and that's why I like to share my imperfections with you.  So you know I'm human too!

We all are!  

We're allowed to make mistakes! 

We're allowed to have hard days!  

We can only act according to the best of our ability in any given moment.  It is when we consciously make a decision to do the wrong thing even when we know what's right, that we feel negative repercussions.

It's true.  I test that out often too.  Instant karma, man.

But the consequences of doing the right things are amazing.  And the more you do the right thing, the better your life gets.  The more opportunities come your way.  The more your prayers are answered.

At least from what I've noticed.  That's why I'm telling you!

So test your choices for a bit: love or fear.  Ask yourself, "What am I choosing right now?  Am I being my best self?  I am I doing the right thing?  What if somebody was watching me do this right now?"

I'm not going to lie.  Often times, the right thing is the harder thing.  It takes more energy.  But what do you want to do with your life?  Move forward with the momentum of positivity or get stuck by doing the easy/convenient things that don't always get you anywhere?

The choice is yours, my friend.

Have a wonderful day!