I recently found out that a friend's second baby due early this summer has Down syndrome. Hearing the news made me very emotional. I have a hard enough time dealing with the emotions of how others treat my child for things as simple as her food allergies or if other kids like and accept her. It made me realize how small these worries are, but how wide the range of fears and worries a mother can have for her child. My friend is brave and strong and facing the situation head on. She knows her life is about to change drastically, but she is determined to be the best mom she can and knows her new daughter will bring so much joy and love into their lives.
I tear up when I think about it, and it makes me think of when I saw this same friend at Fred's benefit party last summer. She came up to me with tears in her eyes and told me she had no idea how I had stayed strong during such a tough time. Looking back, I don't know how I did it either, and I certainly didn't feel strong. I've always loved the saying, "A woman is like a tea bag, you don't know how strong she is until you put her in hot water."
My friend is going into the birth of a special needs child with an open heart. To me, this seems to be the only way to survive and find the beauty at the same time. As a mother, my heart hurts for the challenges she will have to watch her child go through. As a friend, I am fortunate to have such a strong woman as my friend. I know I will learn a lot from her.