Today was World Down Syndrome Day — because Down syndrome features an extra (3rd) of the 21st chromosome, and so 3-21 is Down syndrome day. Anyway, we had planned to celebrate by stopping by a little pizza party over at Gigi’s Playhouse (a gathering place for families with kids with Down syndrome). But our little man was overly tired, crying a lot and was not ‘up’ for celebrating the ‘down’ day.
None of our usual tricks succeeded in consoling the lad, until Laura finally turned on the soothing musical theme of the dishy British drama, ‘Downton Abbey’. Timothy immediately quieted down and was drawn into trying to figure out how Lord Grantham and the family would escape their latest conundrum.
And actually, the PBS security blanket makes sense, as this week Timothy spent more time leafing through our ‘Downton Abbey’ coffee table book (I’m actually serious about that) than any of his other books. He pored through the pictures as though he were doing research in the Downton library.
(A father’s note: it was not a surprise that Timothy has caught Downton fever. He stayed strong for a long time, but it was tough given that the Downton supporters include the influential female majority of the Lee house.)
I still remember the day when, while in my teens, my parents revealed that the family crest of our clan, the Lee family, contained a picture of a squirrel.
Not lions. Not tigers. Not even bears. Oh my… a squirrel.
But if there were any doubts about the squirrel’s place in our family tradition, Timothy is removing them every day, as he’s recently been storing things all over the living room like he’s preparing for a long(er) winter. Whether we find puzzle pieces behind the stereo or little toys under the chairs, Timothy is hiding things faster than we can muster up a search party. So maybe the squirrel was the right rodent for our family crest after all.
Sadly, a friend passed away recently — a woman named Joni, who owned a candy store in south Minneapolis called Sugar Sugar. Joni was a real character, and you have to admire someone who felt strongly enough to argue about a sea salt caramel the way a French person would defend a vintage Bordeaux.
Fortunately for my sweet tooth (and my dentist), Sugar Sugar will stay open, but Joni’s sudden passing is a reminder to me to appreciate those people who make me smile every day, and to try to be that special person for other people.
This winter has been a tough one in Minnesota. A ton of snow and more really cold days than I can ever remember. I understand and share many of Minnesotans’ complaints about the weather, but I love winter for 2 seemingly opposite reasons – beauty and disruption. Winter is the prettiest season in my opinion. A morning after a nice winter snowfall, with snow clinging to the trees, is just gorgeous. The other thing that our many snows and cold this winter reminded us is that winter is a real disruption. We think we have our day planned out and ready to go, and a good winter storm easily knocks over those neat daily bowling pins. And while few of us like having our schedules upended, a little disruption is good — breaking us out of our routines, giving us something different to talk (or whine) about, and maybe leading us to look at daily things differently.
Funny, but those same two winter words also describe life at our house since the 2011 arrival of Timothy. Just like with winter, that disruption is clear, but the beauty part is easy to miss, much less appreciate, but the whole package is there — a beautiful disruption.
And what more fitting words for the newest fanboy of Downton Abbey?