Shortly after Hailey was born, I took to the internet. Not to research Down syndrome, but to see Down syndrome for real. What did it look like next week? Next month? Next year? 3 or 4 years? I didn't want to see adulthood...not just yet. I wasn't even ready for adolescent. I needed to see that it was going to be okay and this initial hard stuff would pass. I needed to see with my eyes and my heart that life would be "normal". Fortunately, the blog world is full of blogs about children with Ds. I could see all types of behaviors and all types of medical concerns. Quickly, Everything and Nothing from Essex became one of my favorite blogs. The blog is written by the mother of a gorgeous little girl, Addison. She has spunk, impeccable fashion sense and an insane love of chocolate. Her mom, Deanna, is honest and puts it out there. She shares her worries, fears, bad days and good days. I needed this. I needed to see the normalcy of having a child with a disability. Deanna's blog has made me cry and made me laugh. She has a way with words that I can only dream about.
I was quite excited when Deanna shared that she was writing a book. I was impressed. I wish my thoughts came across as eloquently as hers do. I was even more excited when the book released. The book, Motherhood Unexpected, is different than most of the books I have read from others of children with Ds. This book is not a nonfictional tale of her life with Addison. It is a fictional story about a woman who had her life mapped out. Claire has made sure all her i's were dotted and t's were crossed. We all know the type...type A personality that knows what she wants and what she needs to do to reach those goals. Maybe a little bit of a perfectionist in everything she does. Claire, her mother, and her sister all embark on journeys that they didn't expect...that they didn't plan. But isn't that what life is all about?
I think this book can make everyone of us think of a time in our life that events didn't go as planned and rocked us to our core. This book isn't about Down syndrome, but about life and motherhood. It made me reflect on events that have happened in my life. Times when I have questioned, "Why me?" or "This isn't fair." These times are a crossroads in our life. This is when we have to decide which path to take. Let the circumstances overcome us and give up or accept them, turn to our faith, and fight life head on.
I laughed, cried, reflected and even cringed while reading this book. At times, I felt like Deanna's words were mirroring my life. I truly believe this book is for everyone. A wonderful story that tackles life's biggest decisions. A story that everyone can relate to.