Tonawanda News


August 18, 2013

DOUBLE TROUBLE: A realization, an admission ... and hope

Tonawanda News — I’ve written a lot here about my older son, who has Down Syndrome.

I’ve shared some challenges, a few frustrations, sorrows (including our recent attempt at swimming lessons) and many of the joys. I’ve written about how often I forget about it, though sometimes I can’t. (Sometimes you just have to face things head-on.) The response has been wonderful and encouraging, and for that, I thank you.

We’ve passed another milestone in our house recently, one that has me by turns relieved (mostly), pleased ... and thoughtful. Unlike most milestones, I realized, I hadn’t even considered noting it in a column. And it was the reasons for this, more than the milestone itself, that had me considering why.

I wasn’t pleased with the conclusion I finally had to draw. I didn’t like admitting that — just maybe — I was embarrassed. How could that be? I love Jim very much. I don’t care that he has some special needs. I’ve been vocal in pointing out to people that kids with Down Syndrome are just like anyone else and though they might hit a milestone later than their peers, they can still hit it. That kids — all kids — do things when they’re ready, and sometimes that’s later than with others.

Eventually the conclusion I drew is that I was embarrassed. But not of Jim, not at all. Of myself.

If I had just worked a little harder, maybe things would click. If I had just a little bit more time to spend on it, maybe it would have happened years ago. If I had done this — done that — done whatever, things would have been faster and easier.

But examining it now, I wonder. I did work hard at it. I did try many, many things (and lots of time). I (or more appropriately, we) tried and tried and tried.

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