“Sara Smile/Won’t you smile a while for me, Sara” (Hall and Oates, 1976)
Parts of Hall and Oates song, “Sara Smile,” plays in my head whenever I gaze at my Sara. My Sara, she is a rock and roll song. She is the tilt-a-whirl at the carnival taking everyone she meets on a spinning, twisting ride. At nine years old, her laughter and rhythm are a lesson for living life well; a life worth living.
Being over 35 increased my chances to 1 in 350 of delivering a child with Down syndrome. I bought the winning lottery ticket in 2004 and named her Sara. Sara born with her fist tightly clenched; daring the world to reject her. The NICU nurse stated, “This girl has a real attitude” despite being only two hours old and six weeks premature. Attitude is Sara’s middle name. What belongs to her is hers to defend such as her five foot, five inch big brother. Anyone caught disrespecting her belongings, especially her Mat, better watch out. She will wag her tiny finger in your face stating, “No Ma’am” or “No Way” if she feels you are threatening her world.
Sara runs down a crowded mall without noticing who is in her way because she has places to go, and things to do; runs out into traffic for the same reason, but is learning not to because it frightens Mommy. Sara has the ability to draw good people to her even from across the Wal-Mart parking lot, but ignores the ignorant stares of others. She teaches Mommy not to care what others think. Sara loves to paint and draw, but only with one color at a time, and on every surface in the house. “Wiping away such extraordinary art would be a sin,” claims Dad. The art stays because it was created with abandonment and love.
Sara speaks and writes in the language of devilish angels that sometimes only God can understand; the only understanding she requires. Sara, despite her extra chromosome or maybe because of it, is more than enough to make this world smile. She is just Sara, smiling, dancing, comforting and daring all to live life with abandonment. “When I feel cold, you warm me/ and when I feel I can’t go on, you come and hold me/ It’s you and me forever/ Sara Smile.” (Hall and Oates, 1976)