Jude Johnson, an author who is multi-published in several genres, is the Thursday Redux contributor today. Jude writes historical nonfiction, historical fiction, contemporary romance, and children’s stories. Her publishers include Champagne Books, 7DS Books, Open Books Press, and Scorched Hawk Press. She reports: “I believe in living the Renaissance life: Develop a myriad of hobbies, interests, and skills to cram as much life as possible into our short time on this plane of existence. Yes, I’ve kept my day job. *wink, wink*”
My post was originally published on 17 March 2014 in honor of World Down Syndrome Awareness Day (http://www.worlddownsyndromeday.org/)
This darling boy is the son of a very dear friend. Sara, an Arizona-born cowgirl embodies all the finest qualities of ranch gals. She trains horses with a gentle hand, teaches and counsels children, and hardly says a bad word about anyone. The worst I ever heard her say about a former boyfriend is, “He was not a very nice boy.” Her husband Marty is also a kind man, takes all sorts of teasing from her friends (like me) with good humor, and has a great heart.
So when they had their first child, a boy who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, their friends weren’t sure how to respond. Everyone wants a perfectly healthy child. Everyone usually assumes two great people will have a great baby. Guess what? They have. [Photo by The Bug’s Dad, Martin.]
The Bug, as he is lovingly called, is a beautiful, happy boy. He has the best laugh in the world. (Well, second to my son’s baby laugh. That was enchanted music, but I’m biased.) As Bug approaches his first birthday in May, he’s reached those milestones every parent brags about or frets over: lifting his head, rolling over, sitting up, smiling, laughing, wriggling, crawling, getting into things, walking, burbling–oh, and did I mention getting into things?
This is a fortunate child to be born to loving parents who live in a tight-knit community of family and friends. We all know he’ll face more challenges than average as he matures, but he will have a strong support system around him to help him learn to meet each obstacle and deal with it–in his own way and time. He will grow up in a ranching/farming environment, well-acquainted with dogs and horses, where the insane pressure of modern urban life is not as much of a factor as it could be. He’ll face the incredible cruelties other children can inflict, as we all know will happen, but he’ll also be surrounded with acceptance and encouragement in a way few people experience. I have no doubt The Bug will learn to achieve through determination, hard work, and love–just like his folks.
Down Syndrome is trisomy-21, a genetic anomaly of an extra of chromosome 21. Its effects can vary from severe (with multiple organic issues such as heart problems and other organ dysfunctions) to mild, with some facial effects and slower than average cognitive learning. People born with Down Syndrome can lead rich, productive, independent lives–if given the chance and acceptance. There are more than a few young people with Down Syndrome who have made incredible achievements–way above any average. To learn more, and read about these remarkable men and women, please take a moment to check out The National Down Syndrome Society page.
Save The Last Dance
A Contemporary Romance from Champagne Books (April 2014)
ABOUT: A trilogy of novellas about Maggie Pearce and the love of her life, English actor John Harrison—how each break the chains of bad relationships through their mutual love of ballroom dance, surmounting obstacles to prove that love does conquer all.
The road to love is rocky for Maggie and John. Both in loveless relationships, they share a passion for dancing, and along the way, for each other. Their attraction could destroy everything they’ve worked for, so when circumstance throws them together again and again, they must choose if it’s better to stay in their loveless relationships or gamble on love.
Tomorrow, Countdown to Publication