While on vacation this summer a family from Washington reached out to us after seeing Dr. Jun Li at Vanderbilt University. We emailed back and forth several times before actually finding a time to talk—that three-hour time difference can make it tough to connect! But finally, on an unusually chilly night in August, I sat outside and listened to Ethan’s story.
September is a bitter-sweet celebration for most Moms I know. It is hard to say “goodbye” to those lazy, unscheduled days spent reading on the hammock, followed by a luxuriously slow, we’ll-get-there-when-we-get-there trip to the beach. The race to get out the door forgotten, the nightly slog of making lunches gone. And yet, the lack of routine and nagging leave my kids reverting back to bad habits and hair that’s gone un-brushed for days. But in our house September carries with it a push-pull of joy and sadness that feels even more magnified.
I realized that a large part of parenting was giving up on the plans you had for your kids and accepting that they were going to have their own path. But I didn’t give up on instilling in them a love for the outdoors. Hence, the kayak. Kayaking seemed like a decent compromise. It didn’t matter that she couldn’t walk — we could still have adventures outdoors. If her extra chromosome had cursed her with loose joints and low muscle tone, there was no reason she couldn’t wield a paddle in the front of a two-person kayak.