This past week there has been a lot of coverage in The New York Times about the passage of Gay Marriage in New York to which I say Yay! And, root for the day it’s just called “marriage” and gays actually get the same rights I enjoy rather than getting a qualified, marriage-lite.
One of the articles titled “Ready to Wed? No, Mom” was about the pressure from parents for their adult gay children to wed the same way parents of heterosexual adult children are prodded by their parents. Some of this pressure stems from what a clinical psychologist quoted in the story refers to “an existential anxiety to know that their children are going to be O.K. and taken care of when they’re gone.”
I was flabbergasted! (archaic word but really appropriate here) These parents are so fearful for their typically developed, adult children they are seeking counseling.* That’s my fear now and he’s four. How does my fear compare to the fear of parent who has a typical child? And – even if someone’s fear seems more legitimate is it good to be fearful?
A few people have said I shouldn’t talk about my age in the blog because it doesn’t matter. Well, my age does matter. I am a woman, over fifty, who is most likely menopausal (in the sense that I am crabby a lot**), married to man 14 years younger and adopted a kid who has Down syndrome. I am Notatypicalmom – that’s my shtick. And, I hope it eventually becomes our gravy train. (Can I also add – that getting older is really not that big a deal to me. The alternative really does bite.)
When I think of Thorin’s future without us I think about him being loved and him being healthy. Some health issues are changing for people with Down syndrome as they age. In 1983, people with Down syndrome had a life expectancy of 25 years and now it has double to 50 years – my age. But, they still have a higher incident of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and earlier on-set. They are more likely to suffer strokes. They are more likely to become depressed. (I bet that information really throws all those people who think Down syndrome people are only happy!) Who will be with him then?
When I see a girl with Down syndrome ***, close to Thorin’s age – and, there aren’t many – I wonder if she is marriage material. Sure, she’s cute and seems sweet but does she have the stick-to-it-ive-ness to make a life time commitment to our son? And, don’t get me started about what I think of her parents.
Honestly, what was the State thinking when they let us adopt him? They should have found a young Mormon couple. Like about 14 years old who were really hard workers.
There is a concept common to many philosophies and religions and it is that love and fear cannot exist together. Fear obliterates love. Love obliterates fear.
Let this love be overwhelming.
* I think I could help these parents overcome their existential fears and charge them a lot of money and put it away for Thorin.
** I asked my husband if I seemed crabbier than usual and I could tell he was afraid to answer. He was very evasive. He completely ignored the question and asked if I wanted more coffee. Frankly, I don’t know if I would offer a stimulant to a crabby person.
*** I should add boys with Down syndrome in to the mix in case he’s gay. That will also increase his options or mine for him:)