Special Family: Secrets to School Success

Each afternoon when I pick up my daughter from school, I get a peek into a world that is all hers. Ellie, 2, was born with Down syndrome and just this summer she started walking, eating by mouth and wowing us with new words she speaks every day — all things she has worked toward…

Perfect v. Wonderful

I’ve been trying to think of some profound statement on which to end 2020, but all I have is this: We are still standing. (Well, sort of. Between the hours of 5:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. we are destroying, creating and just trying to keep each other from getting hurt, but at 8:02 p.m. we…

The Beat Goes On: An Update

This morning I sat in my daughter’s cardiologist’s office while he talked to me about what was wrong with her heart. My husband Ben joined us via Facetime and I held Ellie, who just wanted to hug. We were chest to chest, and I could feel her heart beating while the doctor pointed to the…

Implied Happiness

I read a quote online the other day from a woman who was giving parenting advice: Always smile when talking to your children so that they remember you that way. My husband put our daughter, Ellie, in the shower last night to get her clean. Every other time she takes a shower, we have to…

Extraordinary: A Typical Day in the Special Life of Kylie Purifoy

Outgoing and active Kylie Purifoy is always on the move. From working in the theater department at a local high school to volunteering with the dance and drama teams, she is no stranger to the spotlight. I met Kylie and her brother and talked to him about their relationship for the November issue of Little Rock…

Prenatal Testing and Down Syndrome

This piece in The Atlantic is long but worth the read. When I was pregnant with my first two children, I remember telling the doctor that I didn’t need the prenatal tests. I looked over and Ben and he agreed, saying, “It doesn’t matter. We will take care of the child no matter what.” When…

My Only Girl

“I am glad that Ellie is your only girl.” I hear that or a variation of that a lot. Honestly, I have thought it myself on occasion. The idea is that if Ellie had a sister, she would grow up trying to be like her. The fear behind it is that if her sister were…

Should

“But right is not real, and should is a cage.” Glennon Doyle, Untamed I lost my car keys. I don’t do things like that. Everything has a place and I always put things back in their place. I know where everything in our house is hiding. Ben and the kids lose their stuff. Not me….