Sunday, June 19, 2011

Great Spirits

We spent part of the weekend in Alexandria, visiting Eli, Amy, and Andrew.  A and A wanted to attend an event at the National Harbor and asked us if we would stay with Elijah Boo while they did so.

What a nice baby Eli is!  Very good natured, mostly happy, energetic, and flirtatious.  And a good eater.  We had a wonderful time being grandparents, and afterwards A and A took us all out to a Mexican place for an excellent dinner.  The table adjacent to us was laid out for about 20+ guests and we knew from the photos posted everywhere that it was a graduation party for someone named Alex.  And, apparently, it was to be a surprise.  It was a huge surprise, because as soon as Alex walked in (we all recognized her from the photos), everyone at our end of the restaurant cheered and applauded!  Such fun . . .

Early this morning before anyone else was awake, I finished reading The Boy in the Moon.  I found this to be an important book.  Ian Brown is a writer who has a disabled son, as opposed to a parent of a disabled child who wrote a book.  He writes not just of his family's experience, but travels to meet and interview other parents of children with the same or similar syndromes.  He also visits a network of care facilities designed for people whose intellectual capacity is seriously compromised.

In one place he says, "I don't want to minimize the difficulty of raising a handicapped child. . . .  But it's just a mistake to think of them as lesser than.  There's no lesser than.  There's just different from.  It isn't just great minds that matter.  It's great spirits too."   I was well aware of the irony that I was reading this during a visit to my perfect and "normal" grandson.

This book is an excellent read.  One of my commenters wrote me that she was afraid it would be too difficult a read for her inasmuch as her own grandchild had just received a diagnosis of difference.  My thought is that this book would let her know that she is not alone.

One pair of our children has close friends who have a young daughter who is developmentally delayed.  I'm recommending this book to my kids -- it will help them understand their friends a little better and help them to be better friends to them.


8 comments:

Kim said...

I can't tell you the joy my family receives from Joe my brother in law with Down's syndrome. He is 48 and has just learned how to be an "altar boy", he loves it, he goes to work everyday and watches sports with great enthusiasm. He has the sweetest, happiest, spirit. Yes, there is room for everybody on God's earth.

Happy Sewing

LizA. said...

What a killer smile he has! He's gonna break a lot of hearts in a few years...

Janet O. said...

That grandson is a charmer. Who wouldn't want to pinch those chubby cheeks?
The author of the book expresses things very well. As I played with my "different" grandson this evening and watched this 2-yr-old who can't walk or talk manage to get around and communicate his feelings, I knew that there is a very precious someone inside that body that struggles to function. His mom calls him her angel.

Pat said...

Sounds like you had a lovely weekend. Eli is certainly a charmer -- what a tremendous smile! It just lights up his face.

Salem Stitcher said...

That is one handsome little man you have there!

I'm going to check out the book. I like the idea of different because aren't we all?

Salem Stitcher said...

That is one handsome little man you have there!

I'm going to check out the book. I like the idea of different because aren't we all?

Anonymous said...

There is a book called Different & Alike that is for children to read. MANY years ago it went out of print and I requested of the author/publisher to make my own. I did so and had the pages spiral bound. I am going to have to see where it is because I have a great grandson who is now old enough to read it. When life gets us down we just have to look around us to know we are blessed - someone always has more struggles in life than we do. I will be looking for this book. Your CA cuz

Quiltdivajulie said...

As the mother of an adult son who copes with bipolar and Aspergers (high functioning), I am very aware of how difficult it is for him to be different in this world. IF ONLY people could learn to look beyond the superficial and consider the person within ... thanks for bringing this book to our attention. Awareness is the first step!