“Let’s be real, I probably won’t make it to Harvard Medical School. Chances are, you didn’t either. “
This is not a message that most parents think their baby wants them to consider. If you are a parent of a child with Down’s Syndrome though, it maybe something you should. This is according R.A. Hudson’s new book “What I Want You to Know”. This beautifully illustrated book has been written specifically for new parents of children with Down’s syndrome.
While the target audience of this book has been inspired by Ms. Hudson’s own experiences raising a child with Down Syndrome, the simple and critical messages apply to every parent of every child without exception. Ms. Hudson opens her book with a message to parents, from their baby, which reads:
“Mommy and Daddy I want you to know that you don’t have to be afraid, I am a little fighter”.
This, the first sentence, sets the tone for the next 65 pages. This is a book that is brimming with “Messages of Hope and Joy from your Baby”, just as the cover reads. Let’s admit it, what parent is not overwhelmed by the nuances of raising a child, let alone a child with special needs? Adding the special needs of a baby born with Downs Syndrome can create a unique set of challenges, frustration, and confusion for parents. Ms. Hudson helps us remember the gift that these challenges give us:
“You may be wondering how much I will be able to learn…but actually, I am the teacher and you are the student.”
With incredible precision Ms. Hudson cuts right to the very heart of parental fears, self-doubt and insecurity and flips them all, joyfully, upside down. The messages shared by Ms. Hudson easily bring to light hidden treasures that are present in the tumultuous journey of parenting children of all types.
Be forewarned, as these sparklers come to light, the desire to spontaneously laugh and cry simultaneously may bubble up. In many cultures this phenomenon is associated with attaining true wisdom. I would have to say, without hesitation, this book is no exception to that rule.