Simply Powerful

Kristi, Wil’s paraprofessional, sent me this photo of Wil cooking at school with his Connect mentor, Victoria. It was Cinco de Mayo and they were making tacos. Kristi told me he ended up eating 3!  It’s awe-striking to me, still, even though Wil is a teenager, how powerful the simplest joys with him are. IContinue reading “Simply Powerful”

A Love Story

The girl stood behind the hospital wheelchair and clasped the narrow top of the plastic seat. Her mother, standing beside her (both about the same height) grabbed a handful of the girl’s pale blue shirt, directly at the small of her back, and wrapped it tight around her fist. The girl stepped forward, wobbly andContinue reading “A Love Story”

How Big Is a Millimeter?

Early animation was created millimeter-by-millimeter. To some, this is a tedious process — much too much work. Others enjoy the sinuous flow of the completed project, unaware of or unconcerned with the process behind the scenes. To the animator, however, the diligence, patience and love poured into every intricate detail has special meaning. Each developmentContinue reading “How Big Is a Millimeter?”

The Dance

When Wil was born, I wondered on his differences. How would they separate him from making friends? How would his differences separate him from living a full life? What I didn’t know was Wil’s differences would become woven so deeply into our daily lives that they would be our norm. One example is Wil’s dancing.Continue reading “The Dance”

It’s What Friends Do

Wil’s closest friends are five girls from school; all typically-developing. In our tight-knit community, I hear over and again how special Wil’s friends are. And it’s true. They are. My gratitude is high because I know in another tight-knit community – the community of parents who have children with Down syndrome — Wil’s friendship circleContinue reading “It’s What Friends Do”

Finding Wil Taylor

Wil may have only been about 4 years old, but he had mapped out every “Employee Only” door in every grocery store he’d ever been to. As I turned to pick an item off the shelf, he’d make his move.  My stomach dropped as I noticed his absence, then my brain registered what happened. IContinue reading “Finding Wil Taylor”

A Sucker for You

Communicating with Wil is an incredible experience. Though he has been in speech therapy since he was months old, he has always been one savvy communicator. A tilt of his head and a smile melts you into a puddle of mush on the spot. When music takes him over, his good vibes serendipitously course throughContinue reading “A Sucker for You”

There’s Just Something in the Atmosphere

Over the years, I have found it less important how people approach Wil than how they have left an experience with Wil. Wil demands a shift of heart without demanding it at all. I’ve been involved in our Down Syndrome Support Team’s annual Buddy Walk since Wil was 7 months old. Many walkers who attendContinue reading “There’s Just Something in the Atmosphere”

Steps to Independence

I walked Wil into his first day of camp, then I walked back to my car. I shut the car door and cried for 5 minutes straight. I couldn’t stop seeing Wil’s face in my mind. His big, wide eyes looking up at me above his mask. I knew that look. He was trying toContinue reading “Steps to Independence”

Of Mice and Squirrels – Defying Categories

“Look at me, Mom.” Wil held a sandwich close to his mouth and nibbled bit-by-bit. “Look at you. Such a cute, little mouse.” “Ugh, Mom, no. I’m a cute, little squirrel,” he said emphatically, then rolled his eyes upward. Wil is an expert at merging the aspects of childhood with the antics of teenage-hood. Wil’sContinue reading “Of Mice and Squirrels – Defying Categories”