What Makes Maggie..... Maggie!

Yesterday I was approach by a mom, who I see at church but I don't really know her, and she asked me this "What Is It That Makes Your Child Special?" I thought to myself, self ...that is the best, kindest, most lovely way anyone has asked about my child's difficulties. She genuinely thought my child was sweet, delightful and beautiful. She went on to say that she has a brother with down syndrome and how challenging it has been for their family. She just listened while I gave a short, non-detailed version of her diagnoses. She didn't feel sorry for me or Maggie. She didn't express pity. She didn't sigh heavily or say a lot of 'OOHHHH' She never gave a backhanded insult. And although I have had this type of encounter hundreds of times - I think this was my favorite and most uplifting because it got me thinking about what truly makes Maggie, Maggie.

On a medical form Maggie has dozens of problems and numbers and dates covering the page making any sane individual feel overwhelmed and possibly heart broken that such a young person has been through so much and has years to come of challenges.

On an IEP, Maggie is difficult, challenging, requires constant attention and multiple steps for adaptive procedures. She is behind in every thing she has been tested in. Her file is inches thick and she has never visited the principals office!

But like every standardized test - it is not a complete picture of the individual!

When I think about what makes Maggie, Maggie, I think about her Laugh - she has a full belly giggle, her whole body and every fiber of her being laughing, makes you have to laugh with her! She has the kind of laugh that just makes your whole world a little better. I love that she calms down and will get excited and dances to the song "Billionaire" - by Glee and she loves falling asleep to "Home" - by Michael Buble. We joke that she is a supermodel, but now I think she's an Italian supermodel - she doesn't like eating dinner but she will drink a whole bottle of Pelligrino, Italian sparkling water for a meal. She adores her uncles! And they adore her - they really are amazing with her. She loves bouncing on the trampoline! She is a football fanatic! She will will watch every game on Saturday and Sunday! She signs 'Touchdown' , 'Offsides' and 'False Start' - Correctly too! She could be a referee or a cheerleader someday - either way she gets to be near the action which is her favorite! She gives the best hugs! On the weekends she will wake up and play quietly until she is hungry and then will gentle touch my face to wake me up - (I sometimes pretend I'm still sleeping to see how long she will be patient and last weekend she tried 3 times to be gentle when waking me up - I hope she's imitating me and trying to be a loving, gentle waker upper)

I could go on and on...

She is wonderful, smart, beautiful, clever, feisty, sweet, unique, and above all My Daughter!

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