Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful Tuesday: Ten Things

Thankful Tuesday: This is Tuesday, so I am joining in the Thankful Tuesday party over at Micha Boyett’s blog, Mama: Monk. I also get to join in the Ten thingsI am thankful for {a writing prompt} over at Ellen Stumbo’s Finding Beauty in Brokenness blog. Thankful, thankful.

So. Ten things I am thankful for that Jessie has brought into my life.

1.      Community. Because Jessie thrives in community and in advocating for her right to participate fully we had to immerse ourselves in our community and oh the people and the laughter and the rallying challenges make every day a delight as we greet and care for and share with our neighbours and community friends (and their cats and dogs falling tree limbs).

2.      Gelato. All flavours, but particularly chocolate raspberry, dulce con leche, and ferraro roche from our local Stella Luna.

3.      Disney movies. Really. While I thought I would gag if I ever saw another sappy Disney movie, the good ones are, well, really really good and bordering on a chocoholic’s version of deep myth. Like last night when we were all tired and Dan suggested that we watch Brave. And we did, and Jessie and I kept looking at each other as if this was OUR movie. OUR discontent, OUR love. It was a great family evening.
4.      Patience. As we believed that she could learn to do many things—including walking, reading, zipping zippers, and the mandatory provincial high school literacy requirement—which she achieved on her third try. So patience for believing, for always believing, that in her own time and her own way she would continue to grow and achieve the things that are important to her.

5.      The Grays. Jessie’s best friend Rachel, who introduced me to my best friend (her mother) Cathy, who introduced us to years of homeschooling part time together (and old lady canoe trips) and to Rebecca, the other sister and both being Jessie’s kindred sisters. The Grays, in their graciousness and creativity and total acceptance of Jessie and our family, have enriched our lives immeasurably and I know I have to write a whole blog about them, because of their central role in our sanity and delight. But mostly, I have had the absolute joy of watching the girls grow into amazing young women, who were (and continue to be) the best adapters of crafts and games and introduced Jessie to both Say Yes to the Dress and Stephen Fry on Language. They continue to invite her to impromptu caroling or canoe rides on the canal, as well as four-course candlelight dinners and lectures on philosophy (which Jessie declines, the lectures that is, not the dinners!). At the Grays and with the Grays, there is no debate or uncertainty about Jessie’s belonging. And that is the greatest gift imaginable, ever ever.
6.      The Harts. Who are our other family, our other home, our other place to be when something important happens or needs a celebration. Their daughters bracket Jessie, and their home is always a place that welcomes strays and loved ones alike. It is a warm house, just around the corner, filled with light and the smell of something good cooking. We would not know the Harts if I had not sat on the special education committee with Ken and we had not realized that we had Down syndrome in common, in addition to being neighbours! 

7.      Shakespeare. Who’s plays Jessie fell in love with in grade 4 (the Scottish play to be exact) when her brilliant and amazing teacher Patty Murphy introduced her to the enthralling story involving witches, forests that walk, and slightly (or very) mad men and women. This was the beginning of Jessie’s long love affair, which has been parlayed into going on six years of volunteering during the summer with Company of Fools and in-depth knowledge of play synopses and soliloquies  which served her well in her Trinity Guildhall drama certificates.
8.      Patience. For the growing process and for connections and planted seeds to bloom and create the web of opportunity and safety and respect and commitment that is Jessie’s life.
9.      A wedding. Mine. Or, more specifically, mine and Dan’s. While Dan is the romantic one and I am sure he would have made me marry him at some point, it was Jessie having planned and schemed and worked with Dan to make me actually commit to spending money on getting married and going to … PARIS! that made it all happen. Jessie and all her delight in frothy romantic fairy tale weddings. Our wedding was her dream, and I helped make it come true! How many parents can say that?

10.  Patience. For my own growing and changing and letting go. As I try to figure my way through Jessie’s growing up, she is particularly patient with my misplaced insistence on doing things my way. But she never gives up. Ever. Ever. And so I am thankful for her patience with me.  

No comments: