Yo soy La Lay

adventures in family, faith, and Down syndrome


on December 23, 2015

I want both of my girls to reach their full potential.

I want them to have choices.

I see my job as a parent to raise them to be kind, to be compassionate and loving and hopeful.  To push limits, yes.  To take risks, yes.  (Appropriate risks.   Let’s not get carried away here.)  They should contribute.  They should leave their mark.

I want them to soar.

We do not know what either child’s potential may be.  We don’t yet know their hopes and dreams.  We only know that our work right now is to raise them with the tools that they will need to be all of their wonderful dreams.

There is no harm in feeling that there are no limits on Tessa’s potential.  There is no reason not to think that with the right supports, she can do whatever she sets her mind to.

However, there is harm in feeling like anything less than “typical” is not successful and not worthy of praise.  There is harm in the notion that if my child does not live a life that is mainstream or typical, that she, and I, have failed.

Right now, I’m seeking perspective and balance.  I’m looking for someone to tell me that when she is 27, no matter if she works in a grocery store and lives with me or if she is a high-powered, politically connected self-advocate out changing the laws of the land, she is of value. 

know that both of these paths are worthy.

I’m wholly wrapped up in the mindset that success for her should not be measured by how typical her life is.  I know that the only ends that matter are a life filled with love and kindness and humbleness and service.  I want her to have all the tools that she needs for whichever path unfolds.  I’m content just to love my daughter, however she grows.  

I don’t feel the need to justify her existence or prove that she is worthy of life because of how normal she is.

I will push her, yes, and expect that she push herself.  We pursue inclusion for Tessa because she has a right to equal access.  She has the right to forge her own path and to have choices.  She should, just like her sister, be exposed to people with all kinds of abilities and viewpoints and backgrounds.  Inclusion is best for all, not just for people with disabilities.  I will not hold her back, nor will I let society.  I will not tell her she can’t do it, whatever it may be. 

I love her, no matter what.

In reality, either child may soar.  Either child may flounder.  Either child may achieve her highest potential.  Either child may not.  We can only do our best.  I just want to feel that whatever our best may be will be valued and revered by those around us.

Our journey matters.


3 responses to “Balance

  1. Cassi says:

    This is so wonderfully written, Maggie!

  2. Judy Lay says:

    Yes momma. No matter what. 🙂

  3. mrs.werhane says:

    ❤ You've got it there, friend.

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