Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Ellie has been playing make-believe a lot lately. When she is not watching, I catch her feeding her baby dolls. She gives them bottles and pats them on the back to burp. She talks and reads books to them. She picks them up and hugs them all. And she sings to them too. Sometimes I…

A Special Father’s Day

Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy. This framed cross-stitch quote hung over the couch in my parents’ living room for years. My mom made it for my dad for his first Father’s Day. This cross-stitch wisdom got me thinking: if anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy, then what does it take to be a daddy to a child with special needs?

Bad Mommy

“You’re a bad mommy,” Jack said during lunch. “You always do these bad things.” Gus was screaming in my arms because I wouldn’t let him suck his thumb and eat at the same time. Ellie had bitten my finger so hard that it bled because I wouldn’t let her put chalk in her mouth. Jack…

Keeping Mom Well: Gray Hair, Self-Care

I quit coloring my hair about six months ago. It’s not a huge change, but my hair is more brown than blonde these days. Pretty quickly, I noticed the gray that had been hidden from me for years. It started with a few pieces in the front and on the sides. I can’t see the…

Grace is power, not just pardon.

Ellie’s birthday is next week. She will be two years old. I feel like she has been here for a million years. I think it is because of the amount of attention she requires. I keep hearing that she will grow out of this or that medicine or physical restriction, and I find myself wishing…

Donate Life

Before our daughter was born, my husband and I met with Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA) about organ donation. In utero, she was diagnosed with two critical heart defects and Down syndrome. We were told to expect the worst and hope for the best when she was born and to also understand the risks…

Heart-Swelling Pride

Ellie was standing on the curb when I got to her school to pick her up yesterday afternoon. I had to stop the car in the middle of the drive when I saw her. She was standing with the help of her little red walker, her hands gripping the handles. She was wearing her leg…

Celebrity Status

At Kroger, when we go out to eat in a restaurant, in the waiting room at doctor appointments, while playing at the park, walking through parking lots, even at the Arby’s in Laurel, Mississippi, nearly everywhere we go, Ellie draws attention. “I have a special friend like her.” “She is just so cute. They are…