4 thoughts on “Mindfully Parenting Children We Didn’t Expect

  • November 19, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    I have heard a couple of interviews with Andrew Solomon. This book is definitely on my reading list. The title of the book caught my attention as genetic counselors often refer to “apple tree syndrome.”

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  • November 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    I am reading the book and it is wonderful. I am a very successful person with mild cerebral palsy. I am a poet and disability activist. I am so happy that this book is getting tons of attention, although I am disappointed that it has taken a somewhat able-bodied person to garner that attention. He repeats many of the ideas Deaf and disability activist have been writing (and have been ignored) for twenty years.

    The guist of the thing is about accepting your children for who they are- not who you desire them to be. It’s about adjustment and resilience and not using the one American standard to measure everyone by (Solomon uses the word typical because normal implies better). There is EASIER, but there is not better.

    I walk awkwardly, get tired, have a lot of pain and have impaired speech. For years people have put me down and questioned my ability. It is funny to me that people would think something such as walking straight or speaking utterly clearly is a measure of conpetitance. Obviously not. I have two Master’s degrees, a husband, child, and have been a university adjunct. Society makes a mistake in thinking that there is one form of success, based largely on capitalism and only certain people are capable of that success. Everyone looses.

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  • November 20, 2012 at 2:26 am

    My kids will appreciate you for this article one day! Now, I’m anxious to get my hands on this book. I love your inspiring story, Jennifer. I am a “typical” person, but you sound extraordinary. It’s true, people are judged before given a chance. A friend of mine, who has spina bifida, has been looked over for years, her family still doesn’t know the brilliance that goes through her mind and probably never will. Your hard work is proof that judging by looks is idiocy (though, I’m sure you obtained all you have for much better reasons than proving something). Thanks for sharing!

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  • November 20, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Right there with you Carla. This is the essence of trying to value the child for who he/she is but also creating an option filled life. I struggle with this everyday with my artist/musician/writer who finds academics less than interesting. Yet, when I find him in bed late a night with Jack Kerovack next to him my heart can’t help but sing. Raising humans is the hardest job there is out there.

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