This was one of those times when you want to call your mom. Since I'm not able to do that, I called the woman who would be as excited as I was, my wife Terry.
So, what was the "moment?" I was driving Shira, our six-year-old to her horse therapy (she rides a horse once a week to help stimulate speech). I normally give Shira her "horse" shoes (an old pair of tie shoes) to put on herself. She is not allowed to bring them (or her clothes) into the house as Terry is allergic.
Anyway, that is all background information. As I was driving, with Shira in the back seat, she asked me, as she always does, to tie her shoe. I always tell her I'm driving, but I will tie them when we get to he barn. She always tries to make a knot and bow. Today, without any fanfare or anyone to coach, advise or encourage her, she tied a perfect knot, then a bow. I asked her what she was doing. She told me, "I tie shoes." I figured she had gotten lucky, as I hadn't seen her do it myself. So I gave her the other shoe. With a lump in my throat, I watched my daughter, with her extra chromosome, tie her own shoes.
I don't know which one of us was more proud. She was all smiles and I was holding back tears.
I'm sharing this moment to remind us all that if we look and listen G-d has a gift for us. I was given this one. I needed to share it as I'm so blessed that I couldn't keep it to myself.
May we all share in our children's accomplishments. May we never take their talents for granted.
E-mail sent to Flora Abramson (Keshet Program Director - Special Ed Program) from Todd Miller (Keshet Parent)
This article first appeared in issue #12 of Down Syndrome Amongst Us