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By the way, we are NOT the Perfect Family

I've been writing fairly regularly about our family. Telling cute and inspirational anecdotes about Penny, and then there was the sweet story about Penny as William's older sister and their beautiful relationship. Not to mention that photo of the two of them doing Ring Around the Rosie in the grass with the bucolic prep school building in the background. (See "What's It Like to have a Sister with Down Syndrome?")

Sorry. I didn't mean to suggest that our life is a Thomas Kincaid painting or an episode of Leave it to Beaver.

Penny and William provoke me, and each other, every day. I'll be in the kitchen cooking breakfast, and I'll hear William crying in the playroom. "Penny, what happened?" "I banged William on the head," she will say, with the source of the banging in her hand. And then, with little to no sign of true remorse, she will say, "Sorry, William." And often bang him on the head again.

Or, William will wake up at 5:00 a.m., as he did this morning, and wail for an hour: "Mommy! Mommy! Play! Play!" Sometimes he cries so hard I think he'll hyperventilate.

Or there's the daily fight over getting dressed. The daily battle to get Penny to go tinkle on the potty. The daily push to clean up the mess and sweep the floor and get the toys put away and keep the laundry going. The daily annoyance of William dumping his plate on the floor when he's, "All done, Mommy."

I write about the unusual moments, the exceptional ones. It's hard to write about the daily stuff, the mucky, whiny, just life stuff. Sometimes I "figure out" what to do about it. Most of the time, I just get through, with prayers for grace along the way.

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