It’s Friday, so I’m linking up with the great crew over at Finish the Sentence Friday. This week the sentence is:
I am inspired by …a mother’s unconditional love.
On Wednesday night, I packed up my courage, put on some blush, and went to a women’s group at the new Unitarian church I’ve been visiting. This is such an unknown step – walking into an already tight-knit group of women and trying to find a little corner to wiggle myself into, both literally and figuratively. But much to my relief, the group is welcoming and open to taking me in as a new friend (no surprise, really, considering they’re Unitarian – the most friendly folks I’ve ever met).
All of the women were kind and supportive as a women and a mom. I haven’t had the best week (as this post explains), so it was nice to sit back and be greeting with a glass of wine and a smile.
One woman in particular left an impression on me that I’ve dwelled on for the past two days. Her name was Jenny – I think – and she brought her nursing 6 month-old with her to the meeting. He was adorable with chubby cheeks and a fabulous little laugh. His name is Otto and was just the cutest thing I’d seen since my babies were actually babies. He was passed around, patted, and squeezed. He seemed to be a typical 6 month-old baby. No different than the two munchkins I’m raising myself. So I was shocked when Jenny told the story of considering an abortion when she found out Otto would have Down Syndrome. She said she found out before her husband even knew she was pregnant (another interesting story, it would seem), and she called her best friend who offered to drive her and never speak of the abortion again. I don’t care if you’re pro-life or pro-choice. That’s not what this post is about, so please don’t click away now.
Jenny opted to keep her son and gave birth to this beautiful baby boy she named Otto. She is so positive and says she wants to raise him to be an ambassador for people with intellectual difficulties. She just beams when she holds him, as any mom does.
She talked about the awkward reactions she gets when she tells people Otto has Down Syndrome. Most people, she said, react with the comment of, “He doesn’t look different.” She says is like the non-compliment-compliment. She said at 6 months old, he’s only going to look more different as he gets older. But she said all of this with a smile and with the feeling of unconditional love. This mother’s love. This is what I’m thankful for today. Otto’s mom. Jenny bringing Otto into this world, knowing he would have difficulties and knowing he would be different, yet making the choice to raise him and expect him to still make a difference in this world. That hope, those expectations, that love. It makes me smile and feel like there still is good in this world, even if we don’t hear about it on the news.