“Miracles are like meatballs, because nobody can exactly agree on what they are made of, where they come from, or how often they should appear.” --Lemony Snicket
|Oliver with his best friend|
Months ago I was asked to speak on the "Miracle of Motherhood" at a fundraiser for Oliver's school. The week before the event, I hosted a virus convention in my body. Since my children are in three different schools, they each gave me a unique disease which morphed into an uber-virus, which subsequently brought me to my knees. Literally.
After a week of bronchitis, gastritis, colitis, laryngitis, and hepatitis*, my immune system went rogue and attacked my joints: arthritis. I woke up in the middle of the night and could hardly move my elbows, shoulders, hips and knees. I was in excruciating pain--so I
I was stranded. Thankfully I'd given birth three times, so I knew that I could push through the pain. With the grace of a sea lion, I heaved myself out of the tub and crawled into bed.
|"Tired" Cape Town Sea Lion.|
The evening was fabulous, because I had the privilege of sharing my journey with the Jewish community who had welcomed Oliver into their school. That evening they showered me with love as well.
Last November I didn't have much hope that we'd find a school for Oliver. We were discouraged when Eric and I met with the principal of this Jewish school. She was gracious, and I'll never forget when she said, "Well, we've never had a child with Down syndrome at our school before...but we've always wanted one!" I burst into tears.
She was the first school administrator in Cape Town to be excited about mainstreaming Oliver into a Kindergarten program. In turn, the staff, parents, and children at the school have warmly welcomed us.
I couldn't have dreamed up a better situation for Oliver.
The teachers are very open with the children about Oliver's disabilities. Kids are smart--they know that Oliver is different, but I'm amazed at how, if you answer their questions honestly, they are nonchalant about Down syndrome.
Oliver has been invited to play dates and birthday parties. He loves going to school and can tell me everyone's name. He has a full time facilitator who pushes him and keeps him on track--and he has a teacher or two who spoil him rotten.
This is why I wanted to speak at the school's PTA fundraiser. I wanted to share how my intellectually disabled child continues to be a conduit for divine intervention in my life.
I mean, he's also an amazing conduit for germs too. But nobody's perfect.
*viral hepatitis is only an inflammation of the liver.