At the age of 37, I have finally decided what to be when I grow up. As a mother to two fabulous and complex boys who struggle with diagnoses like Asperger syndrome, sensory processing disorder, and dyspraxia we are used to daily routines that involve therapy, patience, and compromise. When we decided to add another child to our family, our hearts led us to Winnie, and she just happens to have Down syndrome. Follow our journey as we continue to learn and work through these needs. Sometimes we live one day at a time and sometimes we live hour to hour. Welcome!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Taking Joy in Our Kids (Daddy blogs)

It’s been a big year, with a lot of highs and lows having to do with all three kids.  But over the last few days, I’ve had occasion to take notice of some of the amazing things about our kids, and I thought I should preserve these things for posterity.


Everybody sees enough of Winnie on Facebook to know what a beautiful, joyful little person she is, so there’s no need to belabor that point.  But I’ll add one anecdote from last night.

Winnie is a pretty bossy playmate.  She generally tells me where to stand and what to do while we are playing.  Last night, as we are getting ready for bed, she (literally, grunting, pointing, moving my feet and hands) puts me in this very specific pose, turned to the side with my hand out, as if I were fencing (without the rapier).  She then mirrors this pose from a few feet away and runs toward me.  OK, we figured out that she was dancing, like ballroom style. 

But then, she places me facing her with my feet spread apart and my hands out toward her.  Next, she sprints toward me and tells me to lift her in the air and squeals with delight.  Stephanie and I instantly make the connection that this is the climactic dance scene from Dirty Dancing (which I truthfully have never seen, but the dance is so culturally iconic even I am familiar with it – Stephanie has seen it 977 times).  She’s hilarious.  For some reason it’s the American stuff that she was exposed to in China (pop music, for instance, which she LOVES) that I always find so endearing and funny.  We repeated the dance (clumsily, in my case) several more times.


This weekend, I took Pearson and Henry to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.  This was Pearson’s idea, not mine.  In fact, I’ve taken the boys to several conventions and trade shows, in Nashville and other cities.  It’s just a fact of life for me.  I (generally) enjoy it myself, but I don’t think much about it. 

But when I tell other people what we did last weekend, they are all like “Wait, what?  You went to Detroit to go to an auto show? What a neat idea.”  I tell them it wasn’t my idea, it was Pearson’s, and no one can believe it.  I forget how unusual he is, and how outside the box he thinks.  For instance, here is his Christmas list (e-mailed, of course):

Subject: Christmaaaaas!
Razer Naga 2014 edition [this is a mouse or keyboard, can’t remember]
Razer Kraken Headset
Xbox One
A ride in a Lamborghini Gallarado or Aventador (no murcielago) or any performance/production car!
A ticket to Mineroma 2014 and The Detroit Auto show
And surprises!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And of course he built (and has on several occasions fixed or upgraded) his own computer when he was 9. 

While we were in Detroit, Pearson spotted a technology Youtuber he watches (Lew from Unbox Therapy) at our hotel breakfast.  After confirming with me that I agreed that was who it was, he went up and talked to Lew.  They got a picture together and Lew asked for Pearson’s twitter handle (which of course he has), and gave him a shoutout on Twitter.  Pearson was soooo excited. 

Pearson is so 21st century, so plugged in and hungry for information, he’s invigorating (and tiring) to be around. 


Sweet Henry was a middle child before we had a younger child.  He can be passive, has low resiliency and struggles with depression.  Combined with his fine motor skill delays and other learning differences I don’t think we understand even today, this makes much of school really tough for him, despite his wit, great reading skills and ginormous vocabulary.  This year has been particularly tough, and especially this month. 

So lately, I’ve been really trying to spend some real time with him.  What we do is watch movies (usually science fiction).  Sometimes Winnie and Pearson watch with us, sometimes not. 

Last night, we didn’t really have a full 90-120 minutes for a movie, so I suggested a tv show.  We ultimately settled on Doctor Who, the British sci-fi classic in its 60th year, which I watched when I was a kid. It’s a go to for us both.  It focuses on time travel. 

He was flipping through the NetFlix options, and most of the ones from the last 7 years (the modern iteration of the show) he has seen. 

Finally he found one from a few years ago that he had seen before, but said he loved, and wanted me to see it.

In this episode, the Dr. and his companion Amy go back in time to meet Vincent Van Gogh.

What a wonderful piece of television.  It focused on art, genius, different ways of looking at the world, depression, manic states, love, lost opportunities, self-doubt, loneliness, (off camera, a year after the episode takes place) Van Gogh’s suicide and there was also one (sad, lonely) monster.  It was beautifully filmed in Provence, or someplace that looked like Provence. 

Literally, the episode almost brought me to tears.  Afterward, we talked about how for some people (VVG in this episode) depression is physically painful and debilitating illness, but now we can treat it more effectively than we could in the 19th century.  We talked about how the manic episodes VVG had were just another side of his depression. We talked about art.  And we talked about how VVG’s suicide was such a tragedy, how people really did love him, and how he cost the world so much by taking his own life (one of the explicit themes of the episode). 

Henry is such an old soul.  I congratulated him on his fabulous taste, discerning eye and unique perspective.  I told him we loved him and were so proud of him. 

1 comment:

  1. ACK! Vincent and the Doctor is probably one of the most tear jerking hours of television out there! :::sob::: Nice job making it into such a wonderful conversation too!