About This Blog [spring 2010]

I first tried to start this blog in 2009, but got waylaid by life and my fear of technology. But this spring, as things bloom, it seemed a good a time to take the plunge. I also realized that Jessie has grown in leaps and bounds this year, and if my intention was to chronicle her (and our) transtion I'd better start, or it would all be over and I would forget the little steps that lead to great changes. As I wrote a year ago ...

We are in the transition years. Both Jessie (my daughter who has Down syndrome and is 20) and I (having hit the 50-year mark), which makes for a difficult time...mostly for Dan (father/husband)! I am questioning everything I ever did (or did not do) and I will not pretend to have any real insight or expertise in anything that has to do with Down syndrome or parenting or life! So this blog is a slice of our very imperfect and fraught with struggle and delight life. We do not really know where we are going, or even sometimes, where we are. So welcome to our life!

Which is: in a friendly and welcoming community, downtown by the river in Ottawa Canada. With neighbours who make much more money than we do, a cat who likes to drop mice at the back door, an 20 year old daughter who loves Miley Cyrus (gag) and Glee (okay, I can see the appeal) and knows all the names of all the actors in all her favourite movies (and, as she put it when she was 12 “is from Down syndrome”), a husband-kind of guy who loves baseball and Frank Sinatra and movies and writing, and a mom/wifey kind of woman who sometimes writes, often edits and can be found staring at her garden in what she calls a meditative mood (but who is really just procrastinating about working, paying bills, or addressing personal growth issues).

This blog is meant to be: a slice of our life; a celebration of difference and brokenness (which is what makes us human) and delight; a chronicle of Jessie’s transition years into adulthood and the wider world; and a place for me to write what I want to write! I am a writer/editor by trade, but seem to have lost the very personal side of my writing life and aim to reclaim it. What I know and am passionate about is my daughter Jessie, who has taught—and continues to teach—me about life. She is a very patient teacher, I am a very slow learner, and we are both pretty persistent (okay, obstinate) which makes it interesting.

I am also passionate about friends, family, community, spirit, coffee, and chocolate, but not always in that order.

And this is the Widening Circle that is Jessie’s and our life.

“I live my life in widening circles
That reach out across the world.
I may not ever complete the last one,
But I give myself to it.”
Rainer Maria Rilke