Monday, May 7, 2012

A Grandma's Heart.

This Mother's Day, I'm working with Clever Girls in support of Macy's Heart of Haiti to shine a light on the "trade, not aid" program, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans struggling to rebuild their lives and support their families after the 2010 earthquake.

We're approaching my second Mother's Day as a mom, and my mom's second Mother's Day as "Grandma."  I've always known that my mom loves me and would defend me at any cost, but being a grandmother has amplified those attributes.

(My mom and me, Christmas 2011.  Photo by Matt.)

You might suspect that my mom's defensiveness of Ellie comes somewhat from Ellie having Down syndrome, but it's just my mom.  Ellie can do no wrong in her eyes, and I love my mom for her "grandma-colored-glasses."  Down syndrome, if anything, just is one more reason Ellie is amazing.  And should you encounter my mom out and about and have Down syndrome or accompany someone who does, get ready to sit down and hear about Ellie's amazing feats.

Awhile back, I wrote about Ellie's fine motor skills.  I stated that Ellie was behind her typical peers because she does not engage in voluntary release.  No "give it to Mama," no dropping blocks into a tray, no placing shapes in a shape-sorter.  Since Ellie had never demonstrated any of these skills consistently, I wrote a little blurb about her delay, and I laughed about it with the therapist.  I have a baby hoarder.  I hit publish, and the next day, my mom called.

(Me, Mom, Ellie.)

"What do those people mean saying that Ellie is behind!?!?"

"Well, Mom, she doesn't demonstrate any of those skills, so it's a big gap in her abilities.  She can do some things at her age level, but she doesn't let go of things.  She's kind of selfish."  I laughed.

My mom informed me that Ellie should receive credit on the developmental checklist for voluntary release, because, "She can do it, she just doesn't want to."

(Ellie and Grandma.)

Mom, thank you for loving Ellie.  When we received Ellie's diagnosis, I worried that people would see her delays more than her heart.  Grandma Sally certainly hasn't seen the delays.  She only sees perfection, just like any grandma should.

Of course, I'm giving my mom the necklace at the top of this post as one of her Mother's Day gifts.  (Shh, don't tell.  And Mom, if you're reading this, I'm getting you something else, too!)

Thank you to Macy's Heart of Haiti for sponsoring my participation in this “Share Your Heart" promotion. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective. All opinions expressed here are my own.

More info on "Heart of Haiti":

What is Macy’s Heart of Haiti? Heart of Haiti is a “Trade, Not Aid” initiative launched by artist and social entrepreneur, Willa Shalit, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and Macy’s. Already, Heart of Haiti has led to employment of 750 artists in Haiti, providing financial benefits for an estimated 8,500 people in the country.
Each item is a one-of-a-kind design and handmade by a Haitian master artisan from raw materials such as recycled oil drums, wrought iron, papier-mâché and stone. The collection features more than 40 home decor items including quilts, metalwork, ceramics, jewelry and paintings and is made almost entirely from recycled and sustainable items such as old cement bags, cardboard, oil drums and local gommier wood.  
Heart of Haiti products are available online at Macy’
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  1. What a beautiful tribute to your Mom and all grandmothers.

  2. I love this post. My daughter gets so mad at me, I always stand up for the #1 grandson..I see his beauty, his heart, his desire. I don't understand why the world doesn't always see him as wonderful as I do??? LOL Don't get between this "tutu" and her grands!

  3. My mom is SO like this too. Well, Cora's delays are obvious enough that it's not so much about that, but more about her just being perfect. And sweet. And wonderful. You should have seen how surprised my mom was yesterday when Cora decided to display a perfect example of a 1 year old NOT wanting to do what she was doing! Hilarious. But man, these girls have some great Grandmas.

  4. I love this!! My mother let's the grandkids get away with darn near everything. Cupcakes for a midnight snack? SURE! Jumping on the bed? GO for it. Both of my parents are Special Ed. teachers and I think your story is so incredibly beautiful. Ellie is gorgeous and her developmental achievements are a testament to having one awesome mom.

    I work with Heart of Haiti and really appreciate this cause and your story.


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