we were talking about the day that mazzy left the church with a family that didn’t bring her back into the building. we told about how she disappeared and how we couldn’t find her. we shared how stressful it was, how frightening.
she said this.
“one day you’re going to be that person who gets a call and finds out that mazzy is in another state! that she got on a plane and she ended up in alaska!”
and maybe people need to joke about things. possibly people must frame what they see as rebellious, inconvenient behavior in a person with down syndrome as something to turn the release valve on.
but i didn’t find it funny.
mazzy came home from middle school and began to unwrap something taped into paper towels.
“mom! i made this in art class. it’s a tiny bowl.”
it has an M carved into the bottom and it is the most beautiful thing i’ve ever been handed. the color is that pink of thousand dollar shoes on the women our world celebrates ad nauseam. the beautiful ones of our time.
each groove and bump is from her fingers, her life, pressed into this one small dish given freely.
i put flowers into it, the small buttercups growing in the yard.
“i love it, mazzy.”
mazzy’s life is not simple and neither is our life with her, but let it be known that it isn’t fodder for funny stories or material for silly fiction.
mazzy is a person.
a real one, exactly like you.
there is no difference between you and my daughter who has down syndrome.
none at all.
and though you may not believe that, one day you will see it more clearly than you see anything else.
the bowl is on the table now.
it’s there when we eat dinner. all five of us sit there every night and each child tells us the best and worst parts of their day. its mazzy’s turn and once again i am reminded that god uses the weak things in this world to shame the wise.
all around me, everyday, i see that the most exquisite flowers are held in the humblest of vessels.