The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

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A Recipe of Love
A Recipe of Love

Christmas 2007 was fast approaching and baking and decorating were in full swing. Gingerbread babies are everyone's favorites and I always take pride in having people say how good they are and how attractive they look. I have gathered the needed ingredients and have storage containers assembled. A phone call changes my plans. Our daughter, Tonya is in labor and heading for the hospital. My husband and I pick up Eli, our grandson and soon to be big brother, from day care and take him home to await news from the hospital. The call comes. Baby Will is here and everyone appears to be fine. Jim, Eli and I head for the hospital the next morning anxious to meet baby Will. We go to Tonya's room and she is holding Will. She puts out her arms to hug Eli and talks softly with him. Finally it is my turn to hold my grandson. He is beautiful and I walk with him to the window so I can take in every detail of his tiny face. I look into Will's beautiful, sparkling eyes and I know that I love him and everything about him. As I stand holding Will and trying to decide whose eyes, nose, hair he has, I hear words that hurt my heart. Tonya says, "Mom, Will has Down syndrome." How can this be? How can this beautiful little boy have anything so dreadful? How can I make this go away and take away the hurt and fear I see in my child's face? I look at Will again, and I know that we will nurture and celebrate his differences. He is Will and he is beautiful. I had promised to bake gingerbread babies and so I go home to assemble the ingredients and follow the recipe I have used for over two decades. The dough goes into the refrigerator to be chilled and I can think only of Will. I take the chilled dough from the refrigerator and begin to cut out the gingerbread babies. Hard as I try to make them exactly alike each one is a little different. As I move them from cookie sheet to countertop, some need more time before they can be moved without breaking. Others have arms or legs that have become misshapen as they baked. As I store them in containers, I notice that no two are alike. Not one of them is perfect, but they are all gingerbread babies. Christmas 2010 is almost here and our Will will soon be three years old. We are amazed by his many accomplishments. He loves people and they are drawn to his smile and his openness. He has taught us the joy of living. It is time to bake gingerbread babies again and as I assemble the ingredients and prepare the dough, I know that I cannot make perfect gingerbread babies, but I can appreciate how every one of them is different but beautiful.




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Allison Kerschbaum, United States, KY
8/30/2011 3:21:55 PM
What a beautiful story! Thanks to Will's Mimi!

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