December 25, 2013

Happy Holidays to all!

As we send holidays greetings from our home to yours, I marvel how our home has changed in the last few years. Our three children are all in college with schedules so complex I am surprised we were together for six days.

Our oldest Courtney who will be graduating from college in May (how did that happen?) left us on the 24th. My smart college daughter had enough miles to book a flight to Switzerland with one of her great college friends and his family. Instead of skiing at home with her family, she will be skiing in the Alps with her friend's family. She promises us belated Swiss Christmas gifts.

In order for us all to be together we celebrated Christmas on the 23rd.

And we decorated our tree on the 22nd.

Our second oldest Alex is our Christmas joy. Alex and I shopped for her presents together and she helped with the wrapping. But the magic of Christmas is still with Alex, who would have thought my 20 year old college girl would laugh with glee at a new bra she had tried on and picked our herself?

Alex made us all cards during her down time at college, ones filled with love and pride.

Our youngest Tom is a beautiful young man. He is the youngest sibling in a family honored with Down syndrome, my truth, not his. Tom has been loyal and true, he is kind and sweet to his sister. This Christmas I honor this amazing person for who he is, not the brother of a person with Down syndrome, but a caring individual, one who can accomplish great things in his life.

This Christmas for the first time, Tom has shared his sadness of being the youngest in our family. He has shared the pain of the attention Alex always received. He has shared the verbal abuse Alex has doled on him, based on her jealousy of his abilities. And most importantly to me, Tom has shared that he has always needed his Mom and I was not always there for him. To my son, it was always about Alex.

This was truly the best present I could have gotten for Christmas, the reminder that I have three beautiful children, all special in their own ways. To all three of my children, I wish you love, life and health in 2014. I promise to always be there for you. I love you.

If you have not liked our page, it is a good way to stay on top of the ups and downs of college (and inclusive education) for a person with a development/intellectual disability. I have no idea what is going to happen....but I will share the good and the bad. Please click on "The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl" now.

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