Selling Down syndrome.

I am Wade’s mum but I am his advocate too. I made a conscious decision when he was born, to presume that he can do anything. Not for one second will I think, “he has Down syndrome so he won’t be able to do that”. I will not think to myself, well, I won’t bother teaching him world politics, for example, because he will never understand it anyway. If it becomes abundantly clear that something is beyond him or not of interest to him or he is physically incapable of it, then I will strike it off the list….but not before. I’m sure this sounds delusional and to be clear, this does not mean I have him on a strict regime of study so that he will become a Rhodes scholar come hell or high water…. What it does mean, is that if he wants to play a sport or learn an instrument or study at university or live independently or get married or work in a shop or run his own business or travel the world or drive a car or anything, I will help him do it to the best of HIS abilities, not to the best of society’s expectations. That is the difference.


Lately though, I have come across an unintended consequence of my enthusiastic advocacy…. Continue reading

A huntsman spider freak-out!

I don’t have a fear of spiders. I don’t like them, but I’m not phobic. I don’t want them to touch me and I will do that crazy “just fallen into a bag of bees” dance if one does but I am reasonably comfortable if one just happens to be on the wall or whatever. Living in Australia comes with that quiet understanding that there are things that can kill you everywhere. As aussies we know that “They are more scared of us than we are of them”. Most things that can kill you are more than happy to stay as far away from you as possible.

The huntsman spider on the other hand is a completely different animal. They are not deadly, I’ve never met anyone who has even been bitten by one but I hate them. Usually fear and loathing comes from a lack of knowledge and understanding. With a huntsman however, it’s the things I know about them that makes me hate them even more. Continue reading

A walk with Wade

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Some of it good, some of not so much. Some of it real and a lot of it less so. It’s that time again when the wheels fall off a bit but for now I’m just parked safely on the side of a quiet road instead of hurtling down a hill towards a swamp so it’s ok.

It was Wade’s birthday this week. 2 years old! Partly because I wanted to and partly because my annoying brain has been running riot this week, I didn’t plan anything for the day. I did have a party planned for the weekend but with temperatures forecast to be 40C, we cancelled it. Too hot. Too everything… We did a couple of small catch ups with family and friends instead which was nice.

I woke up the morning of his birthday with that strange mix of wanting to do something amazing for our beautiful child and feeling relieved that he is two and won’t know whether I did anything or not.

So I decided to take him for a walk. Not the walk I usually do, which is pop him in the pram and walk up the main road to the local cafe and enjoy myself immensely as I convince myself he is getting the thrill of all thrills playing with the grass on the lawn out the front. No, we went for a proper walk. We live at the bottom of a mountain which is one of the most beautiful places in Melbourne and yet I rarely see enough of it. That day, we drove up to the forest and spent half an hour walking 100 meters. It was beautiful. The eucalyptus trees that form the forest are very tall and very beautiful. Standing underneath them as they leap impossibly high on the slenderest of trunks is spectacular.

Wade started walking a few months ago and is the physical embodiment of the word “toddler”. Continue reading