Natalie Merchant penned the beautiful song called Wonder:
O, I believe
Fate smiled and destiny
Laughed as she came to my cradle
Know this child will be able
Laughed as my body she lifted
Know this child will be gifted
With love, with patience and with faith
She’ll make her way.
Her video for the song includes a young lady with Down syndrome. It isn’t a surprise that the Down syndrome community has adopted Wonder as its anthem. I mention this song whenever I visit with a family who has a baby with a new diagnosis of Down syndrome. This song helped me in the dark, early days of Aaron’s diagnosis, and I hope that it brings comfort to others too.
There is also a book called Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. I’m about two years behind, but I finally finished it. Aaron saw the cover and said, ‘hey, we have this book in our school library, too!’ I wish that all teachers and children would read it. It is an important book.
This is a book about a boy with a facial difference who is in Grade 5. Palacio presents different chapters from different perspectives – the boy, August, his friends, and his sister. (How I desperately wanted to read from his mom’s point of view, too). The author manages to capture how it feels to be different. And while the book ends on a tidy note, the theme is the struggle for acceptance, and the kindness and cruelty of children (who often don’t fall far from their parents’ tree).
My favourite quote came from August’s sister’s boyfriend, Justin. He talks about the meaning of differences:
no, no, it’s not all random. if it really was random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn’t. it takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can’t see…maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds.