Midlife Cabernet: My Grandkid has More Chromosomes than Yours

In January of 2009, a woman in California gave birth to eight children, giving her a total of 14 healthy kids. She was single, unemployed, living with her parents, and later she received income by filming a pornography video and taking welfare. The following January my daughter gave birth to a precious baby girl who has Down syndrome. Because I have human frailties, my first reaction was to cry and then curse the Octomom.

My angst was soothed when I held my tiny granddaughter, careful not to disturb the various tubes and monitors covering her body in the incubator at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I’ve never wallowed in the life-is-not-fair pity party, but I was confused about the unknown: Why did this happen? How do we help? What is her future? What about my daughter?

Almost four years after the initial shock, the extended family now is convinced that this little bundle of funny faces, squawking noises, and death-grip hugs has much to teach us about love and life. And she answered my worried questions: It happened because an extra chromosome appeared in the early stages of fetal development. We can help by loving her and offering to help her parents. Her future is better than if she had been born 50 years ago and institutionalized. And, her mother outshines Wonder Woman.

Uneducated and insecure people reveal their prejudices when they ridicule someone with Down syndrome. When I’m with Sweetie Pie, sometimes I get “the look of pity” from others or the recognizable sigh of “I’m thankful that didn’t happen to me.” Because of Sweetie Pie, I have learned that ignorance and cruelty are bigger handicaps than a little extra chromosome. Any pity should be given to the 14 children in California and their irresponsible, incompetent mother.

It’s not all hugs and kisses. Sweetie Pie has developmental challenges that other toddlers don’t experience. She only recently learned to walk and has a limited vocabulary. Some children with Down syndrome aren’t toilet trained until they are 8-years-old, and other siblings must adapt to the family’s schedules. But Sweetie Pie was born with her parent’s tenacity and her own unique strength. She is destined to amaze all of us.

We have a photograph of my daughter with her two daughters. She is holding her newborn baby, still wearing oxygen tubes, as the 2-year-old stands beside them. My daughter looks into the distance, and her gaze reflects all the emotions of a dedicated woman. This mother will never degrade herself as the Octomom did to support her children, but she will fight like a warrior to protect and raise them. With the help of a good husband, she is the strength, the passion, and the force that make everything work. She is awesome.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Our family is walking with Sweetie Pie in the Buddy Walk in downtown Boise. Drivers shouldn’t be irritated as we block busy intersections but should wave and celebrate as little ones with almond-shaped eyes and braces on their legs take another concentrated step toward independence. They are worthy of respect. They are worthy of life.

 

Today’s blog was fueled by a 2009 Cain Concept red wine from Napa Valley. Named The Benchland, this delicious blend offers a splendid combination of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc, and petit verdot. It’s complex and complicated – much like life – and proves that goodness comes from having more than one kind of grape in the batch.

23 COMMENTS

  1. 173281 876190This is the proper blog for anybody who hopes to learn about this topic. You know a entire lot its almost tough to argue along (not that I really would wantHaHa). You undoubtedly put a complete new spin for a topic thats been written about for years. Excellent stuff, just amazing! 556448

  2. 922873 556473Thank you for the very good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to far added agreeable from you! Nevertheless, how could we communicate? 857415

  3. 835425 159065The vacation delivers on offer are : believed a selection of some with the most selected and additionally budget-friendly global. Any of these lodgings tend to be quite used along units may possibly accented by indicates of pretty shoreline supplying crystal-clear turbulent waters, concurrent with the Ocean. hotels packages 687481

  4. 177503 778087Hello, Neat post. There is an issue along with your internet site in internet explorer, may well test thisK IE nonetheless will be the marketplace chief and a big section of folks will pass more than your superb writing due to this difficulty. 795071

  5. 643763 230188I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys Ive incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think itll improve the value of my site . 913667

  6. 151386 560979Found your weblog and decided to have a study on it, not what I normally do, but this blog is fantastic. Awesome to see a website thats not spammed, and truly makes some sense. Anyway, excellent write up. 199299

  7. 267246 160848Whoa! This weblog looks just like my old one! It is on a entirely different subject but it has pretty considerably the same layout and style. Outstanding choice of colors! 746154

  8. 427390 786145I like what you guys are up also. Such intelligent work and reporting! Maintain up the superb works guys Ive incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think itll improve the value of my website . 159123

  9. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to write content for you? I wouldn’t mind publishing a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write concerning here. Again, awesome web log!

  10. Another issue is that video gaming became one of the all-time largest forms of recreation for people of every age group. Kids participate in video games, and adults do, too. Your XBox 360 is just about the favorite games systems for individuals that love to have a huge variety of activities available to them, plus who like to relax and play live with some others all over the world. Thanks for sharing your opinions.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here