Having family nearby who help one raise small children is a blessing I know nothing about.
But I can tell you what it’s like to have a fairy godmother.
And today happens to be her birthday.
Tracy has been taking care of Raphael for more than two years so that I can work, run our household, arrange my son’s medical services (and handle the resulting insurance mishaps), give his brother the attention he deserves and do the hundreds of other necessary things I do each week.
Tracy adores my son. And we adore her.
She picks Raphael up at school, prepares his special foods and drinks, teaches him to sign and spell, takes him swimming, babies him when he’s sick and brings him home at the end of the day.
She volunteers at preschool, adapts to an incessantly changing schedule, never protests when I’m late and listens to my daily gripes.
She babysits at night when we have teacher conferences, nurtures two other children with Down syndrome, and is tirelessly unfazed about the extra stuff a caregiver of typical children hasn’t a clue – things such as lugging oxygen tanks, feeding a kid through a g-tube, and employing endless therapies for feeding, talking, moving and more.
Tracy even attends seminars to learn more about Down syndrome, and she buys the latest tools and toys to help my boy develop. Most of all, she nurtures my son to no end and then thanks me for letting her help us.
Happy, happy birthday, Tracy! Topped with sprinkles and sunshine. You deserve every good thing there ever could be. You are a magical gift and a life saver.
Thank you for being my surrogate family.
In honor of Down syndrome awareness month, I am trying to post to this blog every day for 31 days to increase awareness of Trisomy 21, the most common genetic condition that causes the syndrome.