Thursday, August 21, 2014

Richard Dawkins needs a hug from my daughter with Down syndrome!

Poor Richard Dawkins, he's a bright lad, but he just can't help stepping in it, can he?

Now he's gone and insulted those of us who love our sons and daughters with Down syndrome by suggesting we should have aborted our children. When a mother asks him what to do with her unborn baby with Down syndrome he answered.'Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world'
He's catching it now like a skinny kid in a schoolyard.

I was a bit like him growing up in public school. Bright. Bookish. Lonely.
In sixth grade, I suffered from social awkwardness (getting my head pushed into lockers by a naughty eleven year old boy with a crush on me) and the school psychologist tested me. Not him.
Apparently I had the problem.

Dr. Hess called my parents into a conference and announced joyfully, "I have wonderful news, your daughter is a genius." My parents were nonplussed. Mom had the perfect rejoinder, "That's great, but tell me something,  will that make her happy?" Good question Mom! It has made life both easier and harder. But it doesn't make me more valuable to society unless I use it for the good of others. Its how we use our gifts from God which makes us who we are.
Sadly in Dawkins' case, superior intelligence has made him the social misfit I once was. I outgrew it because God taught me something important; life is not about intelligence or superiority. Its not about being clever or right. Its about love.

The kind of love I experience on a daily basis from a little girl without the high IQ I have. My daughter Christina has Down syndrome and many intellectual challenges. You know what?  It has been those very challenges which have built tremendous character in her. She is persistent to a fault, slow to speak, meditative, and highly sensitive to the feelings of others; qualities which Richard Dawkins sorely needs.
Christina doesn't waste time or get others upset by pontificating on Twitter about who should live and die. She spreads joy wherever she goes and has made her mom into a better person. She inspired me to write a blog, publish a book, and go to Washington every year to defend her right to be born. She strips away my foolish pride, helps me unplug from the computer,  and induces me to spend time listening to crickets on a summer evening. She also makes a delicious homemade pizza!

Maybe I'll ring up Richard Dawkins and invite him over for a slice. 


Stephanie Principe said...

This is the most beautifully written blog,Leticia!

Stephanie Principe

Anonymous said...

"She strips away my foolish pride." Yes! Thanks for responding to such a cruel statement by Richard Dawkins.

Dan said...

I came here via your post on the Dawkins story at The Guardian. Thanks for the link - this is a lovely piece and you are absolutely right.

Unknown said...

I have so enjoyed sharing just a part of you and your family's life here on FB! I have thoroughly been moved in my heart by the many beautiful photos you share and post of many children with Down's...some of the most beautiful smiles in all the world. I have a neighbor and parishioner at my parish with Down's and he loves and hugs anyone who wants one..unconditionally and it is not a little shrug hug, it is a look into your eyes and back rubbing hug of a brother in Jesus that I love and have been privileged to know. I can't thank God enough for these children and young people. Would you give Christina a hug for me? Thank you and btw..ask her to give you one back! You have surely earned it, mom!!! God bless you! Praying for this man to be stirred the right way in his heart and rethink..and have enough kindness of heart even if not to go public, but begin to try to hug...someone..anyone.

Helen Rogers said...

Beautiful, just beautiful! Thanks for being the wonderful you, you are! Our children with Down Syndrome are gifts of love from God. Kate brought me to meet so many great people like you.��

Heather said...

Hi Leticia! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1 AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate it!