The Namesake Post

Originally published on February 6, 2010:

One summer years ago when I was a kid, we were at the beach in New Jersey where we went on vacation most years. We loved being in the ocean and enjoying the waves which were bigger than anything we'd seen at home in Connecticut. I remember someone telling me that when the waves come in, NEVER RUN from the wave. If you do, it will clobber you. Instead, you should dive *into* the wave down below where it's calmer until you can come back up and swim. I got pretty good at that and my cousins, parents, uncles, and aunts and I spent many hours in the ocean doing just that.

One day, a storm was on its way and the waves started to get big. They were bigger than I'd ever seen before. It was still nice out so we stayed in the water. I approached the waves and dove through them. But then one wave came and it was so big. I froze on the shore and thought, 'I can't dive into THAT.' I panicked, turned, and ran. The wave came over me, threw me down on my face where I swallowed a mouthful of saltwater and seaweed. Next thing I remember was a hand reaching down and yanking me out of the water. It was my mom. She got me out and I recovered back on the sand. It took awhile even to realize what had happened. I was scared of the water for a little while after that.

So every day, many times over, we dive INTO the waves. Dive into the waves. Dive into the waves. Some of them are small and manageable, and some of them make my arm hair stand on end. Dive into the waves. Dive into the waves. And then sometimes, the wave just looks too big and too menacing and in fear, I turn and run. That's when it clobbers me. But even then, I get back up, re-group, and eventually go back in. Dive into the waves. After all, we have no choice. We don't get a day off from PWS. We don't get to rewind back to the simpler days when we didn't have a child with a disability. This IS our life. We are driven by love for our Dean, and for both of our boys, really. We must keep going.

See information about when this article was published in Parenting Special Needs Magazine here: