My Name is Sarah

MY NAME IS SARAH. I am a quilt designer and the sewcial director of Sarah's Sewcial Lounge. I also have a business called Down Right Charming. I sell my quilts mostly on etsy and I make pillowcases to donate to patients in the hospital in memory of my friend Kristen Kirton. I am a young adult living with Down syndrome. I hope you enjoy reading about my life journey.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Perfect Cake ~ One Year Ago

A Message from Mom: Late January and early February 2008, will be forever etched in our memory. Sarah and I are going to begin a series that will highlight our amazing journey. As I wrote in our holiday newsletter this year, even I wouldn't believe the tales it it weren't for the photos. The story promises to be full of drama, danger, and lots of dust. A few miracles and even a pair of angels.

The story really begins in November 2006. I was leisurely walking on Lane Avenue in Columbus when my cell phone rang. "Hello." "Mrs. Ely, it's Katie. It is sorta like raining in your family room..." But before we get to that chapter... let's fast forward to January 15, 2008.

Sarah has been doing lots of cooking in school and now she wants to make me a cake for my birthday. We are in the midst of preparing the house for some minor construction to repair the leak that Katie encountered that November day. The last thing I needed was to take an evening to make an additional mess in the kitchen. So I tell her I appreciate the thought but I really don't need a cake. Matt the little charming brother says, "Mom, we can do it ourselves. I will help Sarah." I'm thinking, sure, famous last words, but give them the go ahead. I continue on with packing boxes and hauling them to the basement.

A few minutes later, I look in the kitchen and stop dead in my tracks. Sure enough, they are making a cake. Matt has gathered all the ingredients and is letting Sarah do most of the work.

How proud she is. And how proud I am of Matt. What a great little teacher he is being.

When Sarah's arm starts to get tired from mixing, he doesn't take it from her and do it, he supports her.

Sarah usually hates cake batter. But Matt is licking the beater, so she is too.

I can see in her eyes she is taking her cues directly from him.

Here he is again. Not doing the job, but supporting her in learning to do the job.

And now she is doing it herself, not perfect, yet he instinctively knows not to take over. If I was helping to make that cake, I would want the icing to be perfect. And that is not such a good teacher. I have now forgotten all about the packing project I was working on. I am busy watching this exchange between Matt and his sister. Chronologically she is 18, he is 11. Sarah has always been in his life. She was seven when he was born. She didn't spend as many nights at this age in the hospital as she had in her earlier years, but enough that he knows what it is like to be displaced and forgotten at times. He could be resentful. He could be miserably put out that he has to help his teenage sister make a cake. But instead, he is guiding with strong hands and nurturing with wisdom well beyond his years. Teaching his mother that perfect isn't in the spread of the icing, but rather perfect comes from unconditional love within the heart. Yes, this will be the most perfect birthday cake ever.

Now, that's my boy. Licking the icing. Chocolate icing. They know me well.

How did he get her to do this? She hates icing. Oh, now I see. It's the "perfect" love from her sibling.

29 comments:

Beverly said...

Oh, I love this post! What a wonderful brother and teacher! I wish Noah had sibblings but GOD had other plans! Thanks for sharing!

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing. What a sweet story. Thanks for the reminder that it's more important for our kids to do things themselves, or with a little guidance, instead of having someone else take over because they think they can do a better job.

Leah said...

Well thanks for making me CRY! What a great story, and an awesome brother Matt is. Angela has 4 older brothers, but they all live away from home now, and only a couple are able to get home on occasion. She misses them very much. This post makes me miss them for her even more.

Tsquared417 said...

I love your boys. I hope my boys turn out just like this. I think they will...they have been sweet with Olivia since the beginning...she's the oldest so they don't know any different. I always worry about them...I love that we both have one daughter and 2 boys....it makes me happy to see how it all works out! :) Thanks, Joyce, for your wonderful posts.

Nan P. said...

This is a very important lesson for me, I will keep it in mind for little Cathal. It is so easy to take over. I have been such a devil all my life, and have had over the years to curb this in me, step back and let me children get on with their learning. Tehy are both independent adults (and one a mother!) and I still have to remind myself! Now with a grandchild as special and precious as Cathal, the lesson needs to be repeated again and again for me. Thank you Sarah's mum.

Sarah, I cannot bake for the life of me, I cook but I don't bake. So well done. You could teach me!

Karly said...

Your sibling stories are some of my favorites. I hope my two will be so close.

Would love to hear some stories of antics though...I am sure there are one or two. ;)

Michelle said...

What a touching post - and what a sweet cake, made with so much love!

Karen said...

It brings tears to my eyes to see her brother helping her learn. That is the sweetest gift he could have given.

JennyH said...

Great story. I loved reading that.

Kimberly said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I have two children with Down syndrome and one without (I call her my 46er). I often wonder what kind of relationship she will have with her brother and sister.
I hope it is something like this.
Thanks again.

Jennifer said...

This is just the sweetest story ever, I was in tears the whole time! The photos are priceless.

datri said...

What a wonderful story and a wonderful brother. Siblings are amazing aren't they? People who say having a child with DS will ruin their siblings lives have no idea what they are talking about.

Chrystal said...

Such a sweet story. The pictures are great!

Happy Belated Birthday, Joyce. :-)

Mel said...

You look like you have two fabulous kids there!I have tears in my eyes reading your post. Gorgeous!

Carol N. said...

Great story in photographs - a really good reminder for any parent, isn't it?

Sarah, your cake looks yummy. I bet your brother loved it too.

JRS said...

Beautiful post.
---Jen

Lisa said...

This is so beautiful. I'm sitting here crying.

Stephanie said...

That is a great story!! And yay to Matt for being there for Sarah

Anonymous said...

Hello, I found your blog thru Rhetts Journey... may I say, that I see true and perfect love from siblings, what a lesson for us..thank you so much for sharing this and letting so many learn a great lesson. Susie

Mara said...

thank you for sharing ! That is the best story ever ! I had to share it with my 18 year old in hopes she can learn from it with her sisters. Thank you again !!!!

Laurie said...

Oh, I love this!

This is what I hope my daughter is like with her brother...

Maureen said...

I love your stories so much. This one reminds me of how nurtuing Nathaniel is most of the time. Matt is such a great brother.

Debbie Yost said...

First, I am so like you! I would have been all over them micromanaging. I've learned with my 12 year old (who does not have Ds) to just leave the room! She could take a few lessons from Matt with her sisters. Still, I love seeing them together. I hope Peanut and her sisters will have the same kind of bond. Most of the time I think they do.

AZ Chapman said...

another series I can not wait.

Great team work guys

Jeanette said...

What an amazing birthday gift to you... a cake made with love, a child giving her all, and another child giving his heart. What blessings you have in these kids! I bet that was a great birthday!

The VW's said...

What a wonderful memory and story! And, what a WONDERFUL brother and teacher! I am SO touched! Thanks for sharing!

Lovin Mama said...

Your children are just beautiful people! I've been toying with the idea of having another baby, a younger sibling for Goldie. This post may push me over the edge, in a good way :)

Margie said...

What a beautiful story... and such beautiful children.

Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

What an awesome post! I love this!!