Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Normal vs Special

As I read about medical researchers 'turning off' an extra chromosome, I had mixed emotions.  On one hand, how wonderful would it be if the genes on that extra part of Matthew's 4th chromosome were made inconsequential!?! But on the other, that extra genetic material is part of Matthew.  I wouldn't want to take away part of Matthew that makes him so wonderfully Matthew. 

This dilemma reminded me of a Ted video that a dear friend sent me that raises a great question for parents of unique kids--do we try to make his life as 'normal' as possible or do we go the other way and celebrate his 'uniqueness'?  As Matthew's mom, I struggle with the desire to do both.

I saw a sign in a store that read "Why try so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?".  Ironic, isn't it, that I want Matthew (heck, all of my kids) to fit in but yet I want them to be unique and special too.  I'm unsure if you can do both. 

For Matthew, he is unique.  With his 8 beautiful fingers, his cute misshapen ears, and his bright but downturned smile, he will always stand out.   I want to celebrate him as the perfectly unique being God made him, but I also don't want him to suffer for it, which I fear will be inevitable. I want him to have a normal life, but be special too. 

For a much more eloquent perspective about 'turning off' down syndrome, read this post from a mom whose daughter has downs syndrome.

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