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That Phenomenal Moment

posted Wednesday May 30th, 2018

  The dust is settling around Sophie’s freshman year of high school. It was one of the messiest yet. And also pretty awesome. Sometimes in life, all it takes is one phenomenal moment to make you feel like you’re doing the right thing. I spent much of this last year looking for that phenomenal moment, […]


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Birthday Girls

posted Monday May 21st, 2018

  “HEY ARE YOU ALMOST DRESSED?” I yelled out from the bathroom one morning last week. Sophie appeared in the doorway, wearing a tee shirt that said Hopeless Dreamer on the pocket, chewing hard on her well-worn thumb, almost twice the size of a normal thumb from years of sucking. Fifteen years. “This is what […]


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  Several weeks ago I asked readers and friends and readers who are friends to share stories of inclusion — what works, what doesn’t work. I got a wide range of answers with some repeating themes, and today I’d like to share them with you. I left names out on purpose, since not everyone is […]


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The Magic of Public Education

posted Wednesday April 25th, 2018

Once upon a time, in a land scorched hard and dry by the sun, public education was in trouble. For decades, the state’s leaders had starved the schools — underpaying teachers, letting buildings decay, and concocting elaborate schemes to create shadow school systems to replace the ones they’d all but destroyed. These leaders founded and […]


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  The other day I was excavating Sophie’s bedroom (if you have a teenager, you know what I mean) and happened upon a middle school relic, a Best Buddies application. Sophie has Down syndrome. She’s the target audience for Best Buddies, a kid who should be matched with a typical (or choose your favorite term […]


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Sharon Cowan Landay is the amazing mother of Sophia. I met Sharon when she took Mothers Who Write, the workshop I co-teach, and we stayed friends on Facebook. I saw her post last week, looking for someone to accompany Sophia to her senior breakfast, and I asked Sharon to write a guest post about the […]


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  Sophie was applying her third layer of mascara (mostly to her lashes) and muttering under her breath. “I’m taking a big risk today.” “What?” I asked, looking away from traffic for a second. “Nothing,” she said quickly. “No, tell me,” I urged. “Did you say, `I’m taking a big risk today’?” “Yes.” “Oh, because […]


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    Last night we had a family reunion of sorts. Annabelle and I had traveled to northern California for spring break — the college tour has begun — while Ray and Sophie attended his grandfather’s 100th birthday party in New York. We regrouped over beer (for the grown ups) and Cornish pasties and I […]


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The Spaces in Between

posted Saturday March 3rd, 2018

    It was a pretty Arizona winter night. The church grounds felt like they went on for acres, probably because they did, and as I waited I tried to distract myself by wondering how much this North Scottsdale real estate is worth. A lot. Modestly dressed middle-aged congregants gathered outside in a courtyard, lining either side […]


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  So far, I have not failed at high school. This morning — the first back after the two-week winter break — Sophie popped out of bed, drank her Carnation Instant Breakfast, and chose a cute new outfit. She refused to brush her hair, but found her ID, remembered her lunch, and cranked Stevie Wonder, […]


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My-Heart-Cant-Even-Believe-It-Cover
My Heart Can't Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome is available from Amazon and 
Changing Hands Bookstore
. For information about readings and other events, click here.
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